NFL report: concussions dropped 50 PERCENT when players wore new ‘Guardian Caps’ over the summer

A new piece of equipment for certain NFL players was panned in preseason training, however, a new report says they are effective.

According to data released Wednesday, NFL players mandated to wear so-called ‘Guardian Caps’ saw a 50% drop in concussions compared to the average from the last three years.

The league required tight ends, linebackers, and linemen on both sides of the ball to wear the soft-shell-esque liners over their helmets from the start of training camp up to the second preseason game. Concussion rates have historically seen increases during that time period.

Only 11 concussions were recorded at those positions during the offseason, compared to the previous three-year average of 23. Of those 11 concussions, 6 resulted from hits to the face mask, which isn’t protected by the Guardian cap.

An NFL report says the use of ‘Guardian caps’ reduced training camp concussions drastically 


Waffled, soft-shell helmet that reduces the impact of helmet-to-helmet hits

Closely resembles rugby’s scrum cap

Introduced as part of the NFL’s ongoing effort to reduce head trauma during practices

Can reduce the force of head contact by 10 percent for one player

Can reduce the force of head contact by 20 percent if every player involved in a collision is wearing one

Offensive and defensive lineman, right ends and linebackers required to wear them in training

Used between training camp start and second preseason games 

Guardian Caps reduces the impact of helmet-to-helmet hits

Guardian Caps reduces the impact of helmet-to-helmet hits

“The performance of the cap exceeded our expectations in terms of concussion numbers,” NFL executive VP of communications Jeff Miller said.

While the mandate specified only a short amount of time, about 200 players continued to wear the caps after the mandate expired.

The league says they will work with the Players Associate to tackle feedback it received from players, coaches, and equipment managers. They also pledged to fix issues with fit and sizing. 

While the bizarre-looking headgear may have prevented concussions, it received mixed reviews from players and coaches.

‘We want guys to live long, happy lives and if it helps a little bit for wearing a Guardian helmet for a couple weeks, I think it’s worth it,’ said Browns lineman Joel Bitonio.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera praised the concept, saying the caps are designed to, ‘absorb some of the shock and take a lot of the shock off the players’ helmets and heads.’

‘I like it for training camp. When guys are like going crazy, you know what I mean,’ said Panthers tight end Ian Thomas. ‘Like everybody has a different style of play. You never know if like one guy is like a head-butter or something. I don’t know how effective it is but we’re gonna have to roll with it anyways.’

Detractors criticized the look of the equipment, while others doubted its effectiveness.

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Lane Johnson called the caps ‘goofy’ adding that they ‘look stupid’. Titans linebacker David Long Jr. said they look ‘ugly’, but added, ‘it’s cool just to help.’

One Eagles offensive lineman – Jordan Mailata – suffered a concussion during training camp. He then blasted the bizarre-looking shells.

‘The hat’s fake news. It doesn’t stop anything. I’m sorry, NFL. I really do mean that, though. It didn’t stop anything,’ Mailata told American football pundit Zach Berman.

On the other side of the trenches, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Shelby Harris echoed that sentiment. 

‘They’re stupid,’ he said. ‘Because here’s the thing though, I get what they’re trying to do, but the main thing is, you might have guys that start leading with their head more because they’re used to not feeling it, and don’t know they’re doing it, because they have this big old helmet thing on. 

‘And then you get in the game, and next thing you know, they knock themselves out.

‘I don’t know, I just don’t think this is necessarily the answer because of the fact that if you do get used to getting hit in the head with this, you wouldn’t even know. But, you do something in practice without that thing on, you’re like, “OK, I’m not doing that again”.

Numbers said the rate of concussions this past training camp were down by 50 percent

Numbers said the rate of concussions this past training camp were down by 50 percent 

In the 2022 preseason, the number of concussions dropped to 11, down from an average of 23

In the 2022 preseason, the number of concussions dropped to 11, down from an average of 23