The NFL and equipment company Oakley are working on developing a facemask that contains surgical or N95 material in an effort to better protect players from coronavirus when they return to the playing field.
The NFL Players Association’s medical director Thom Mayer said the new designs could see the entire facemask covered by the new protective material.
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“Back in early March, I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus,” Mayer told The Adam Schefter Podcast.
“And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses – Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract – these guys got the bit between their teeth.”
As for the look and design, Mayer said he is still not sure which direction the design will ultimately go.
“They’ve got some prototypes; they’re doing really good work,” he said.
“Some of them, when you first look at them, you think, ‘Gosh, no’ because you’re not used to seeing it; you’re just not used to seeing it.
“But they’re looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up. What do we do with that? These guys are used to dealing with this stuff.”
All team facilities were ordered shut down as of March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL will allow facilities to be reopened on Tuesday by teams that are permitted to do so under state and local regulations, but only for specific personnel.
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