The NFL Stars Who Had Restricted Vision

NFL is a high-octane world where physical prowess and split-second decisions define success. Therefore, it might come as a surprise that some players have donned a different kind of gear on the field: prescription eyewear. Despite the intense physical demands of the sport, these players have embraced eyewear to address various eyesight issues, proving that even in the most competitive arenas, vision matters.

We’ve recently seen the emergence of visors with Oakley’s Prizm technology, which helps players pick out certain colors for clarity whilst playing. Oakley has paired with the NFL before on safety visors, but for a handful of stars, visors with Prizm lenses would be the last thing they need – some didn’t even have the eyesight to pick out jersey numbers on opposition players!

Clear vision is paramount for NFL players as they navigate complex plays, read defenses, and execute precise movements. However, it isn’t possible to simply wear standard prescription glasses, even sports models. Oakley makes glasses that suit cyclists, climbers, and runners, but for an impact sport, glasses are not an option – they need different solutions.

Whilst the players we mention here may well have worn prescription glasses off the field, they had other solutions whilst playing, as you’re about to find out.

Rodrigo Blankenship


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Rodrigo Blankenship, known for his distinctive glasses and accurate field goal kicking, made his NFL debut in 2020 with the Indianapolis Colts. Despite facing skepticism about his distinctive look, he quickly became a fan favorite. His glasses are a trademark, setting him apart as a distinctive figure in the league. However, he can’t just order a pair of glasses online – his are specially made for playing football. They’re thick-rimmed, not unlike the popular Oakley Valve models, but with high-impact-resistant lenses and a strap.

Blankenship recently signed for the Buccaneers after spells with the Colts and Cardinals. He has often spoken about how nobody should be ashamed of wearing glasses, and of all current NFL stars, he is the one likely to raise the profile of goggles within the game, unlike our next star.

Eddie Lacy


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Eddie Lacy, a former running back for the Green Bay Packers, was known for his powerful running style and precise vision on the field. While his athleticism was evident, he did struggle with poor eyesight. In 2013, Lacy featured in the Pro Bowl, but in 2014, he had a spell on the sidelines after suffering eye irritation from contacts; he wore the same ones for over 30 days.

At the time, Lacy was reluctant to move over to goggles, saying he was ‘very blind.’ He added he refused to wear goggles but was pictured later in his career wearing a pair. Of course, in today’s game, goggles are much more widely accepted, and perhaps Lacy could have achieved more had he given in to the goggles earlier.

Tony Jefferson


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Tony Jefferson, a safety who played for the Arizona Cardinals and later the Baltimore Ravens, established himself as a formidable defensive player. He did so suffering from poor eyesight, something he didn’t help himself with. “I can’t even lie — I stopped wearing my glasses years ago, and that might’ve been the dumbest thing I’ve done,” he said in August 2022. “I can see so much clearer and further with my glasses. It’s wild.”

His epiphany led to another season in the NFL, signing for the Giants, but he retired in May 2023, scouting for the Ravens, with whom he had two stints as a player.

Rich Ohrnberger


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Ohrnberger played for the Patriots, Cardinals, and Chargers during his spell in the NFL and had a reputation for being a prankster which has set him up for a career as a satirist post-football. However, in 2022, he wasn’t joking around when he admitted that he, too, had suffered from eyesight issues and turned to contact lenses whilst playing.

“Not joking, I played 7 seasons through college and in the league blurry as hell… in 2012, I got glasses and contacts. Mind Blown. I could read safeties numbers for the first time instead of guessing. Total game changer.”

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.