The 32 NFL players who ended last season wearing helmet models not approved by the league and the NFL Players Association will have no such option this coming season. Six were banned immediately and four others, including the one often used by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, were allowed to be worn for one more year.
NFL and NFL Players Association representatives announced Friday on a conference call they've approved 11 types of helmets for use in league play next year and ended the grace period for models that failed safety tests, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.
There were no additions to the list of banned helmets for 2019. "A player will not be allowed on the field (wearing such a helmet)", National Football League executive vice president of health and safety initiatives Jeff Miller said Friday.
The one-year grace period grace period the National Football League allowed for continued use of some helmets now has ended.
Those players will have to change to better-performing helmets by the start of the 2019 season.
The league and players' union compile the results, rank the helmets and produce a poster in which helmet models are placed into three categories: green, yellow and red.
But officials are encouraged by how many players switched to better performing helmets last season. Of the 11 models tested this spring, nine were new to the market, one was tweaked significantly and another had been overlooked in 2018, according to Dr. Kristy Arbogast, the NFLPA's engineering consultant.
Although Brady will have to make a helmet switch, he'll have plenty of models to choose from, and that's because there are a total of 34 helmet models that have been approved by the National Football League, including 11 that were added to the approval list just this year after undergoing extensive laboratory testing.
Most persuasive in convincing players to change helmets was an analysis of concussions suffered in games between 2015 and 2018. That was up from 41 percent at the beginning of the season.
Did you see the video Tom Brady posted Wednesday on Instagram? There are 27 helmets that tested into the best performing category, and officials also plan to make recommendations to players about which higher performing helmets offer the same comfort, fit and look as a prohibited helmet, to facilitate the switch.