New Helmet Technology Did Not Prevent Cushing Concussion

Source: sandiegouniontribune.com | Re-Post Duerson Fund 9/18/2017 – 

Among the five concussed Houston Texans in Sunday’s season opener was linebacker Brian Cushing.

This is notable because Cushing was wearing one of the VICIS Zero1 helmets the NFL is hoping help reduce concussions.

This doesn’t mean the VICIS helmet doesn’t work. Cushing is one of about 70 NFL players wearing the helmet, which has a flexible outer shell and an under-layer of plastic columns that give on impact immediately bounce back. The full list of players is not known but does include Jadeveon Clowney, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith and Rusell Wilson.

But Cushing’s concussion does underscore the reality that no helmet can ever fully prevent concussions, something the NFL and VICIS have acknowledged.

VICIS, a Seattle company, beat out 32 other helmet manufacturers in a test conducted by the NFL. (Results of the test here.) The helmet is available to all NFL players but is reportedly being worn by less than five percent of them. The helmet made its debut in the preseason.

It is believed by many that the technology used by VICIS – more of a car bumper than a tank – is the best way to reduce head trauma. But helmets were introduced to football back in the 1930s – first college, then the NFL – to prevent skull fractures. They were never designed to prevent concussions.

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