Everyone's well aware of the dangers that NFL players face every time they take the field - especially the players themselves.

The risk of broken bones and torn muscles is obvious, but the most frightening injury professional athletes face is one that we’re still trying to fully understand - head injuries. 

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Scientists have recognized the link between concussions and the degenerative disease CTE for years, but the issue is still controversial. Some parents are so concerned that they forbid their kids from playing football at all.  

Head injuries are also terrifying to witness. Who could forget the massive hit that Tua Tagovailoa took last season against Cincinnati? Many fans still take issue with how the Dolphins and the NFL handled the severity of his injury. 

The NFL initially denied the research connecting CTE and concussions, but have since taken more steps to protect their players. This includes funding lab studies and recommending or banning certain types of equipment. 

New Helmet Could Reduce Quarterback Concussions

A newly designed helmet could help prevent other quarterbacks from getting a devastating head injury.

This week, the NFL and its players’ union announced the approval of a new type of helmet made specifically for quarterbacks. 

Equipment manufacturer Vicis designed the Zero2 Matrix QB helmet to reduce the chance of concussions from helmet-to-ground impacts. 

 “This helmet performs better in laboratory testing than any helmets we have ever seen for those sorts of impacts.” - Jeff Miller, NFL Executive

Vicis Zero2 Matrix QB helmet

This is the second position-specific helmet the NFL has approved for use, with the other being Vicis’ Zero2-R Trench for offensive and defensive linemen.

How Does The New Quarterback Helmet Work?

Vicis explains that the new QB helmet, which they’ve been working on since early last year, has a unique outer shell that shifts or bends upon contact. This design helps absorb the collision when a quarterback’s head hits the ground after a sack.

The NFL’s latest helmet lab testing study found that this helmet performed 7% better than the one quarterbacks wore most last season. 

Seven Helmets Now Banned From The NFL

The NFL’s latest study may lead to several players having to switch which type of helmet they wear, whether they want to or not. 

Along with recommending this new quarterback helmet, the NFL’s 2023 helmet laboratory test also led to seven helmets becoming prohibited for use. 

You can view the full results of the NFL’s 2023 helmet lab test here

Do NFL Quarterbacks Have To Use The New Helmet?

Technically, Josh Allen and other NFL quarterbacks can choose whether they want to sport the new and improved helmet this season. The NFL and NFLPA sent a memo to teams and players with all the data from their lab study, so each individual QB can make their own decision on which helmet they’d like to wear. 

As fans, we hope that Allen gives this QB helmet a go. It seems worth it to keep him on the field and off of the DL, and to avoid any potential repercussions down the road. 

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