Philadelphia Eagles Australian lineman Jordan Mailata blasts effectiveness of Guardian Caps, “Fake news. It doesn’t stop anything”

According to Zach Berman of The Athletic, the Philadelphia Eagles’ massive Australian offensive lineman Jordan Mailata is not a fan of Guardian Caps.

The 6’8″, 345 pound former rugby player, a native Bankstown, Australia, a suburb of Sydney, suffered a concussion during training camp while wearing one of the caps, the second concussion of his career, and apparently did not hesitate to level criticism at the league:

“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.”

It’s been more than a decade since the guardian cap was invented, but this season, the use of the cap has been made mandatory for certain positions (tight ends, linebackers and offensive linemen) at training camp. However, despite wearing the new headgear over his helmet, Mailata suffered a concussion during practice.

Head trauma among players has skyrocketed into prominence over the past decade and the NFL has been taking steps to attempt to minimize injuries to the head by changing rules, adding more stringent officiating and introducing newer, safer equipment.

It is questionable as to just how safe the game can become but with unequivocal evidence that CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or brain degeneration due to repeated head traumas) is a reality, the NFL obviously understands that although football players are aware of the risks, every step that can possibly be taken to minimize players’ exposure to head-to-head contact, must be taken.

With so many proponents of the guardian cap coming forward and expressing support for its level of protection, Mailata’s criticism sounds like a lonely voice in the night. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth gave perhaps the most honest yet supportive perspective:

“We look dumb,” he said after the Steelers debuted the caps, “We definitely look dumb but it’s good protection.”

Rams offensive lineman, David Edwards was even more adamant about the benefits of the caps. The Rams started using the Guardian Cap last season:

“The Guardian Cap provided that extra layer of protection you needed during practice,” he said. “The last thing you want is to lose players on the offensive and defensive lines to head injuries during practice or training camp. The cap helped reduce some of those injuries and was useful to our team last season.”

Eradicating the risk of head injuries completely is no doubt an unrealistic goal. However, it would seem that all efforts to achieve that goal, whether they fail to some degree or other, need widespread support.

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