National Football League to prohibit use of certain helmets for 1st time

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepares for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 28 in Orlando Fla. Aaron Doster  USA TODAY Sports

Six of the helmet models will be banned immediately, the National Football League and NFLPA said, while the other four can be worn this coming season only by players who wore them last season.

"We've begun to see that over the last couple of years, players [are] moving from helmets that rank in the poorly-performing areas to those that are ranging closer to the top-performing helmets", he said.

"This is the first time we will be prohibiting helmets", Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president of health and safety, said in a conference call with reporters.

Of the 10 prohibited models, six are no longer being manufactured and thus are banned immediately. Other factors, in addition to the ranking, should be considered by players when choosing a helmet, including fit, comfort, durability, player position and the player's medical history.

"We think that is an important move, and we think that will improve player health and safety".

Laboratory testing showed that the VICIS Zero 1 models of 2017 and 2018 rate best for player safety. The test this year involved 34 models. Marver estimated 70 players were using the Zero1 by the end of the 2017 season, and he expects "200 or more" to be in them before the upcoming season kicks off.

Washington Redskins helmets sit on the field.

"I was encouraged by it because the league and union have been telling manufacturers to be more assertive about encouraging players to wear the better testing helmets".

"The goal of continuing to rank the helmets, and the objective of the joint decision to prohibit certain helmets this year, is to increase that continued movement into better-performing helmets".

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