By any measure, new helmet technology looks to be a step forward in the fight for better safety for football players of all ages [Note: the cost is prohibitive, in my opinion, to most people outside the NFL]. But, helmet technology isn’t a panacea for the problems that the game faces. It is at best, a tool to help improve the conditions. “I do not believe that any new helmet can ultimately thoroughly solve the problem, as individuals will still be experiencing head collisions and impacts. Even if these helmets lessen the force of the blow, repeated force over time (including sub-concussive blows) may imply consequences that we are still trying to understand,” said Dr. Teena Shetty, a neurologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
We can revel in the advances made in helmet tech and applaud those companies for it. The understanding among players of the seriousness of concussions and head trauma is continuing to improve. But, until we get to a place where players feel completely comfortable telling someone that something feels off, the sport’s problem will remain.