NFL and its players’ union approve 8 new position-specific helmets for quarterbacks and linemen

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Eight new position-specific helmets for quarterbacks and linemen have been approved by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

Two of the new models manufactured by Riddell are designed for quarterbacks while six helmets are made for offensive and defensive linemen.

Quarterbacks now have three choices of helmets specifically designed for their position to help reduce impact that can cause concussions, including the Vicis Zero2 Matrix QB introduced last year. The new models are Riddell’s SpeedFlex Precision QB and the Axiom 3D QB.

The Vicis Zero2-R Trench for offensive and defensive linemen was the first position-specific helmet introduced in 2022.

Overall, a record 12 new helmet models were approved by the NFL and the players’ union for the 2024 season. Five of the new helmets tested better than any helmet ever worn in the league. The NFL, in collaboration with the NFLPA, annually conducts laboratory testing performed by jointly appointed biomechanical experts to evaluate which helmets best reduce head impact severity.

“The pace of innovation is really about as high as we’ve ever seen,” NFL executive Jeff Miller told The Associated Press.

Miller, the league’s executive vice president overseeing player health and safety, said providing players with the best possible protection is a major priority and more positions should have specific helmets in the coming years.

The new Riddell Axiom 3D helmet earned the highest rating from the NFL and NFLPA’s lab testing.

Riddell designed three models, one for all positions that was ranked No. 1, one for QBs and one for linemen.

Axiom is a comprehensive protection system from Riddell that launched in 2022. Axiom’s Tru-Fit System provides a personalized fit for each player using Riddell’s scanning app, which captures a 3D image of an athlete’s head for an individualized build of “energy-managing interior padding with unique thickness, shapes, and contours that provide comfort and protection benefits.”

Riddell says 50% of NFL players wear a Precision-Fit helmet and approximately 77% wear Riddell models. Another 10% wear some form of customizable Riddell helmets, including Axiom.

“Getting a helmet certified and on the field is no easy feat in and of itself,” said Thad Ide, Riddell’s executive VP of research and development. “We put a lot of effort into doing our very best to make sure that the helmet performed very well with respect to the ratings and rankings that the NFL publishes. The Axiom 3D uses printed lattice materials as its energy managing layer, which is how we were able to tune it kind of very specifically for the NFL laboratory tests and the position-specific variants of those tests.”

The results of the lab tests are displayed in each team’s locker room. For the first time, there are four total helmet posters in circulation: one for helmets available for use by players at all positions, and three additional posters that reflect helmet performance in testing specific to quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen.

The new Vicis Zero2 Matrix ID QB helmet ranked first for its position. The new Xenith Orbit Pro came in first for both offensive linemen and defensive linemen.

Six helmets that initially ranked among the top-performing when first introduced have been prohibited for the 2024 season.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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