National Football League (NFL) and Oakley have developed a new face shield to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while playing the game. The Oakley Mouth Shield is a product designed in collaboration with doctors and engineers from the NFL and NFL Players Association.
Safety protocol negotiations are ongoing between the league and players. Currently, there is no mandate to wear a face shield, but the NFL’s medical experts are advocating for the use of the protective equipment.
The product is designed with the idea of keeping players safe without causing any detrimental effect on the performance.
The Oakley Prizm Lens Technology that has been previously used by skiers, military personnel, has been implemented in this design for NFL players.
Plastic sheets extend down and attach to the faceguard. There are airways and openings on the mouth shield, but none of them allow the direct transmission of droplets.
The current face shield design is the result of an iterative process based in large part on player feedback, with comfort and functionality top of mind along with protection.
In a trial run of these helmets, Quarterbacks were able to effectively call out plays with a broad consideration given to the field of view.
While Oakley is the official supplier of the NFL, there are other manufacturers of face shields, so players may end up using other brands as well in 2020.
At the end of the day, the safety of players is important for the league association.