The NFL is continuously working on attempts to reduce concussions and head injuries to its players. Their newest installment is the implementation of the “Guardian Cap,” a soft-shelled padding that goes around the outside of the helmet.
The league is enforcing that specific players wear them through the first two weeks of the preseason (offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and tight ends). And Seahawks defensive end Shelby Harris is not a fan, believing that the caps are “stupid.”
Harris feels as if the Guardian Caps are not the answer to fixing the high rate of concussions in the NFL, and also believes that players may be more at risk to head injuries with the cap because the effects of getting hit in the head with the cap on may feel less severe even if they are still there, as he described in the video during his press conference.
Seahawk DL Shelby Harris said today the guardian caps the NFL is requiring players close to the ball to wear in camp this year are “stupid.” Said they may have an unintended consequence of making players overconfident leading with head when they don’t play with them in games. pic.twitter.com/8uPOiU70MM— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 11, 2022
“They’re stupid,” Harris said (via PFT). “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.’”
Harris will be playing in his first season in Seattle in 2022 as he was part of the package that sent Russell Wilson to the Broncos.