NFL Permits Guardian Caps In Games

NFL Expands Mandate & Permits Caps In-Game Use

 The NFL has once again announced an expansion of its Guardian Caps mandate to include defensive backs and receivers for the 2024 season. Additionally, all NFL players are now permitted to wear Guardian Caps during games for the 2024 season. 

In a recent webinar, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills led a discussion with a panel of experts on the updated league changes and rules for protective equipment. They discussed the benefits of Guardian Caps and the helmet impact detection technology that helps reduce head impacts to players.

Excerpts and Data From the Webinar

  • We’ve got two years of data now showing significant concussion reductions in those players that wear Guardian Caps in the NFL,” said Dr. Allen Sills, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Officer of the NFL.We might actually see a Guardian Cap on a player in a game this year.”
  • It’s really become a norm here. The players know the Caps. They’ve seen the data, it works. The Guardian Caps have become another piece of equipment that they take to practice. You think about all the head impacts that we’re reducing from players wearing them and it’s second nature now,” said Brendan Burger, Equipment Director of the Los Angeles Rams.
  • We have tested Guardian Caps in labs and have seen significant reduction in the impact forces that the head sees when the Guardian Cap is on the helmet. It is very promising in the lab and on the field,” said Dr. Ann Bailey Good, PhD, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Biocore, LLC
  • We have expanded the mandate to all players with the option for quarterback, kicker, and punter.  There is also the option for the player to wear it in the game if he so chooses,” said Dawn Aponte, Chief Administrator of Football Operations at the NFL.

Positive Data Since the Mandate Two Years Ago

  • The NFL reported there has been a 52 percent decrease in concussions suffered by players at positions wearing Guardian Caps, compared to the concussion rate of players at the same positions over the last three years of training camps when Guardian Caps weren’t worn.
  • Data from 2022 showed the position groups required to wear Guardian Cap during the mandated period in the preseason saw a more than 50% reduction in concussions versus a previous three-year average (2018, 2019, 2021; the anomalous 2020 season is excluded). There was no increase in concussions among the position groups wearing Guardian Caps after the mandated period ended.
  • The league’s data showed that if one player is wearing the Guardian Cap at the time of a helmet hit, the cap will absorb 11 to 12 percent of the force. If both players are wearing the cap and have a helmet-to-helmet hit, the force of the impact is reduced by around 20 percent.
  • The NFL reported that Guardian Caps worn during training camp practices helped the league realize a seven-year low in training-camp concussions.

Guardian was founded in 2010 with the mission of better protecting players through advancements in technology. Erin and Lee Hanson utilized their expertise from their material science business, the Hanson Group, to engineer, patent, and manufacture Guardian’s flagship product, the Guardian Cap, which was launched in 2011. After successful biomechanical testing and field testing, the company began marketing and selling in 2012.

Fast forward and now 300+ college programs such as Clemson University (heading into their 11th season with Guardian Caps), Penn State, University of Georgia, University of Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida State, Texas A&M, University of Oklahoma, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and hundreds of others have implemented Guardian Caps, along with 3000+ high school and 750+ youth programs all around the nation.