ATLANTA — With an eye toward getting back on the field during a pandemic, the NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same sort of protection as a surgical mask.NFL face masks
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, who heads up the league’s competition committee, said the issue was raised during a conference call about a month ago.
Thom Mayer, who is medical director of the NFL Players Association, said league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are testing prototypes of a modified face mask that might contain surgical or N95 material.NFL face coverings online sale
“I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the face masks and the spread of the virus,” Mayer said on a podcast with ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “These guys got the bit between their teeth.”
Work on the face mask is far enough along that “there will probably be a recommendation” to use it when the league begins its preseason schedule in August, according to Mayer.
Oakley is already contracted by the NFL to provide visors that some players use on their face masks. The company also has developed durable eyeglasses for the military that are designed not to fog up — technology that may prove useful in its latest project.