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NFL unveils new Oakley Mouth Shield to limit the spread of coronavirus

"Indira Weinstein" (2020-07-22)


With NFL training camps set to start at the end of the month, the league has partnered with Oakley to provide face shields for helmets in hopes of limiting the spread of coronavirus. 

The Oakley Mouth Shield was designed by doctors and engineers in conjunction with the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The device is expected to be distributed to all 32 teams over the next week, which is when the first large-scale tests can take place. 

There is not currently any mandate to wear the mask, but Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, is urging players to do so.     

'That's certainly what we're going to encourage,' Sills told This photo provided by Oakley shows a new face shield designed by Oakley. With NFL training camps set to start at the end of the month, the league has partnered with Oakley to provide face shields for helmets in hopes of limiting the spread of coronavirus

This image provided by Oakley shows sketches of the new face shield designed by Oakley. With NFL training camps set to start at the end of the month, the league believes it is closer to one answer when it comes to player safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Face shields for the players' helmets. (Oakley via AP)The NFL and the players' union agreed to several protocols in a 42-page document last week, including team travel, media and treatment response. They have also updated the facilities protocol, specifically addressing training camp, using recommendations from a joint committee of doctors, trainers and strength coaches.However, the two sides haven't agreed on testing and screening protocols for the coronavirus. RELATED ARTICLES



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One idea suggested by the union's medical director, Dr. Thom Mayer, to help control the spread of the virus was to have players wear face masks. The league's engineers and a sports equipment company tested prototypes for the masks, but players shot it down.'We've had a real robust discussion around it that stretches back a number of months,' Sills said. 'From the start, the NFL Players Association, their medical advisers, their engineers have been engaged with us. We've also had dialogue with players along the way trying to look at early prototypes and developments.'The face shield was designed by Oakley, which already provides visors for the .'We have well over 700 players that used the visors last year,' said Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of . One staunch critic of the face shield is Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt  (No. 99)The face shield has received a better response than the mask suggestion.'The player feedback was integral in coming up with this design,' said Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL's Engineering Committee. 'They (Oakley) would start with this design and say: "Do you like this one better or this one? How's your field of view on this one?"'At the end, they did have feedback from players. This was their choice for the players they've evaluated so far. I think each player is going to have an evaluation for themselves in terms of exactly how they favor one concept versus another.'Meyer said there have been some positive reviews. 'We've only had it on a few players -- we have 2,500 players in the league -- but I was surprised that ... claustrophobia has not been an issue yet,' he said. 'I think it will be when we [have more players testing them].'One staunch critic of the face shield is Houston Texans star JJ Watt.  There is no mandate to wear the mask, but Dr. Allen Sills (pictured), the NFL's chief medical officer, is urging league players to do so 'My second year in the league I thought it'd be cool, I put a visor on my helmet,' Watt told