It’s possible that fans who saw the photos from the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp in St. Joseph saw something unusual.
Some players are wearing foam coverings over their helmets, giving the impression that their heads are huge. In fact, they are wearing Guardian caps as part of an NFL mandate that was passed in March, according to ESPN.
Here’s more about caps, including why they’re in use around Chiefs’ camp and leagues.
Who’s wearing them?
The Sporting News said linemen, tight ends and linebackers must wear caps, although the entire Steelers team will use them.
“In essence, the NFL is trying to reduce head injuries from frequent head trauma in the trenches,” The Sporting News reported.
A story in NFL.com stated that those position players were required to wear soft-shell cushions because “they get the most hits during those full-contact training camp practices.”
How long will they be worn?
The ESPN story states that designated players will wear Guardian caps for “every preseason practice between the start of the training camp contact period and the second preseason game.”
Kansas City’s second presidency game, against the Washington Commanders, is Aug. 20.
The NFL.com story states that the particular time period was chosen because it is the start of high-contact practices, and there are more players on the field than it is before the roster cuts.
NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 85 players by August 16, then reduce the number to 80 by August 23.
How do caps work?
If you’ve watched a NASCAR race, especially an accident, you might have an idea of how a foam cushion works.
Here’s an explanation from the Guardian Cap website: “Physics says that an outer ‘soft’ material of proper density, stiffness and energy absorbing properties reduces the initial severity of the impact. Less forces are then transmitted to the hard shell.” are, and in turn transmit the lower forces to the internal soft helmet padding and then the lower forces to the head. Similar to the NASCAR driver and soft wall technology that the track has adopted or even automobiles and soft bumpers and The airbags that are now required for The Guardian serve a single purpose to the athlete’s head – a soft shell barrier between it and the impact.
According to the NFL, wearing a hat while wearing a hat reduces the severity of the impact by at least 10 percent if one of the players is using it and 20 percent if two players in a collision are wearing it.
What do the chiefs think about the hat?
Defensive tackle Chris Jones is ready to release him.
“I will as soon as I’m able to take it off,” Jones said.
Left guard Joe Thune was not going to get that much.
“If it helps reduce head injuries, that’s really good,” Thuney said, but he’s not sure he’ll continue to wear it beyond the required amount of time.
“I’ll have to see how it goes after I put on the pads,” Thuney said.
Here Chiefs defensive linemen Frank Clarke and Jones wearing caps on Thursday (video from KSHB’s Hayley Lewis).