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NFL mandates use of Guardian Caps for training camp in 2022

Seeking to curb concussions as much as possible, the NFL has mandated the use of additional head protection during training camp.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years the NFL has continued making a push for player safety as much as possible in football. This year, that continues with the requirement for players to wear Guardian Caps along with their helmets for full contact portions of training camp.

The Guardian Caps are soft shell pads that are attached to the outside of the helmet and were developed at least partially using a Grant from the NFL. They will be in use when full contact begins at training camp and will be required until after the second preseason game at which point they will be recommended instead.

This year, only offensive and defensive lineman, linebackers, and tight ends are required to wear them. With the repeat every down contact of blocking taking on blocks they are often the most susceptible even without any one big hit.

The NFL will continue its endeavors to lower the amount of unnecessary and violent contact in the NFL to keep the players healthier and to make the sport more sustainable. Obviously, it is impossible to fully remove contact and injury in the NFL, but that does not mean it isn’t worth the effort of trying to minimize the injuries.

So far, measures taken seem to be working as the 2021 season had much lower concussion numbers than some prior seasons, although with the amount of changes made it is impossible to know which one caused the lowered amount of concussions. Either way, hopefully this lowers the amount of concussions and keeps star players on the field longer.