By Bryan Perez
When the COVID-19 outbreak began in the United States, life, as we knew it, came to a screeching halt. This included all professional sports, and now several months into the nationwide shutdown, we’re still waiting for baseball, basketball and hockey to resume.
So far, the NFL has been insulated from any real impact from the novel coronavirus. The league pivoted the NFL draft to a virtual experience, but record-setting television ratings and an otherwise enjoyable television product minimized any real harm.
But with the virus still dictating when life goes back to normal, and the 2020 NFL season suddenly less than 90 days away, there’s some renewed concern about how (and if) the season can kick off on time.
One measure being considered by the league is extra protection added to the helmet. With face coverings proving effective in slowing the transmission of COVID-19, it would make sense to provide NFL players who engage in close combat for 60 minutes with something similar to the facemasks worn in everyday life.
Here’s an example of what a Bears COVID-19 helmet could look like this year if the league decides to implement some kind of face covering.
— Stadium (@Stadium) June 17, 2020
It looks like a cross between a motorcycle helmet and something you’d wear if you were playing paintball with your buddies. It’s certainly a big change from what traditional football fans are used to, but it isn’t all that bad.
The most important thing is the players’ health and safety. Aesthetics will take a back seat (at least for 2020) if a helmet design like this can keep the Bears (and the rest of the league) out of harm’s way.