Can this NFL Mask-Helmet and Other Branded Safety Protocols Help Save Football Season?

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Not without hiccups, the MLS and PGA have resumed play. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and WNBA are on the runway getting ready for takeoff. Looming ahead in the coming months is football season, where major college conferences like the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 are already eliminating non-conference games and punting on September, probably to buy time.

The NFL, for the time being at least, is chugging along. They’ve canceled two of their four preseason games and the NFLPA wants them to cancel the other two as well, but so far there haven’t been any delays to the regular season. The NFL is continually rolling out their safety precautions; of course, the NFL would not be the NFL without combining various safety initiatives with their branded partners.

One no-brainer item, reported on Monday in a story on ESPN, is a helmet that the league and NFLPA worked with Oakley on to have mask functionality:

The masks have small holes designed to let breath out but insulate the wearers from droplets coming in. Currently, these helmet masks are not required, but highly encouraged. The league is hoping these helmets are distributed to players as soon as training camp.

An NFL spokesperson also sent Outkick this list of their other branded safety protocols. Words are theirs:

  • Lowe’s – created a dedicated portal and designated staff to assist in securing personal protective equipment and cleaning products for league and Club personnel 
  • P&G – helping to secure professional line cleaning and disinfectant for league and Club use
  • Gatorade – developing new process and protocol for player hydration and use of water bottles and towels on sidelines 
  • Visa – sharing expertise around cashless and contactless venues / experiences with the league and Clubs
  • Bose – developing opportunities focused on enhanced audio in stadium 
  • Verizon – developing new fan viewing experiences both in and out of stadium 
  • Microsoft – engaged on use of Microsoft Teams to communicate with partners for league updates as well as create new, interactive fan engagement opportunities in season
  • New Era – providing Club and shield-branded masks for non-helmeted personnel to wear on sidelines during games
  • Sleep Number – providing best practices and recommendations regarding sleep and wellness for players and staff

While it might be easy to poke fun at a couple of those, I mainly just hope this all works because I really want there to be as full a football season as possible. At the end of the day, the league can do a million different things but the most important part that is under their collective control will arguably be players and coaches doing everything in their power to avoid the virus in their time away from the facilities.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. I find it odd that football players would be worried about another players face being covered, when Alex Smith and Joe Theisman each snapped their legs on the football field.

    And to this day, we don’t have any legislation to cure this danger from happening again. ACL’s and Tibias and Fibulas matter. Ya know!!

    Face shields won’t prevent another catastrophic life threatening football leg injury. Or Minimize concussions. Or save the Browns franchise (their second shot at a franchise – btw)

  2. The virus particles are roughly 3 microns. Even N-95 masks are not 100% effective. So exactly how does this keep them safe from the virus?

    If the breath can get out, the virus can get in.

    Accept the risk for Christ’s sake!!!!! It’s a COLD!!!!!

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