Exclusive: NFL Testing Will Force Aaron Rodgers to Change Helmets
Aaron Rodgers is going to have some new headgear in the near future.
According to the NFL and NFLPA’s annual helmet safety testing, Rodgers’ helmet no longer meets the baseline minimum safety standards required by the league.
Independent safety researcher Biokinetics, Inc. tested 34 helmets used by NFL players and ten were found to fall short of the standard.
While both Rodgers and the Packers have been reluctant to give out details on his headgear, Schutt confirmed to The Power Sweep today that Rodgers wears the Schutt AiR XP Pro model, one of the ten redlined by the NFL and NFLPA.
Rodgers switched to a Schutt helmet in 2010 after his second concussion that season. He switched to an updated version of the Schutt AiR XP Pro in 2011 and has worn some variation of that helmet since then.
Rodgers has time to pick a new helmet
NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero says the players whose helmets were flagged in the testing could have some time. While the Riddell helmets identified as unsafe will be phased out immediately, the other helmets will be gradually taken out of circulation. Players who wore one of the affected helmets in 2017 will have the option to continue wearing them in the short term, but no new players will get the opportunity.
That means Rodgers can use his current helmet for 2018, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to use the same helmet for the 2019 season.
Rodgers has a unique helmet already
While it doesn’t necessarily pertain to helmet changes, Schutt also supplied us with some additional details about Rodgers’ helmet.
As we’ve written previously, Brett Favre’s chinstrap choices have influenced several generations of Packers passers, including Rodgers, who has adopted the two-point chinstrap attachment used by his predecessor.
But that decision would be a bit of a problem for Rodgers if he used a factory fresh version of the Schutt AiR XP Pro. That particular helmet model ships with a chinstrap attachment affixed to the helmet near a player’s temple area, which could be a safety issue if no chinstrap was attached.
As we can see in pictures of Rodgers from last season, there is no chinstrap attachment at that point on his helmet. Schutt says that is not their doing. Someone else removed them.
“If the chinstrap attachments were changed,” we were told in a statement, “this was likely done by the team or player."