NFL Considers Football Helmets with Built-in Masks
While a face mask violation normally gets you a 15 yard penalty in pro football, the NFL is reportedly looking into actual face masks built into helmets for players who will eventually take the field before the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
In a chat on ESPN personality Adam Schefter's podcast, Thom Mayer, the medical director of the NFL Players Association, revealed the league is working with helmet manufacturer Oakley to add "a surgical mask or microbe-resistant N95 material" to the standard football headgear.
"They've got prototypes...some of them, when you first look at them you think, 'Gosh no,' because you're just not used to seeing it," Mayer noted. "But they’re looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up."
However, keeping players on the gridiron safe from the virus would require other changes, considering how often players take off their buckets, not to mention using communal Gatorade and oxygen stations on the sidelines.
Recently, Major League Baseball sent a proposal to its player's union addressing how America's pastime might get a post-COVID-19 makeover, including limiting spitting on the field and giving high fives.