With the start of training camps just more than two weeks away, the NFL has unveiled a new defense against the coronavirus: a clear plastic face shield that attaches to each player’s helmet.
Designed by Oakley, which already produces helmet visors for the league, the shields reportedly block the transmission of potentially infected moisture droplets while allowing air and sound to get through, says Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL Engineering Committee.
Although the league has not yet mandated the use of the shields, players have rated it above other forms of protection, says NFL Medical Officer Allen Sills. “We’ve had a real robust discussion around it that stretches back a number of months,” Sills says. “From the start, the NFL Players Association, their medical advisers, their engineers have been engaged with us. We’ve also had dialogue with players along the way trying to look at early prototypes and developments.”