When Wes Welker returned last week after being knocked out for a few weeks with a concussion, he turned more than a few heads when he ran onto the field with a new helmet.
A big helmet.
It looked like he went from an XL to a XXXXXXL.
So what’s the deal? Does this new helmet design do a better job at preventing concussions?
First off, it’s not exactly a new design. It’s been around for a bit.
And as for preventing concussions— a big, giant no. There is no helmet designed yet that will prevent a concussion.
Will it lower the risk of concussion? The jury is still out on that one.
This different helmet is the Riddell 360 (Welker used to wear a Riddell Revolution Speed.)
The 360 has a different type of facemask which is supposed to have a little more flexibility and give– so you don’t feel like you ran into a brick wall when you get hit. (The Flex Impact Facemask)
It also has a different liner system which adds a little more support and may give a more secure fit. (The balance here is when you keep on adding padding, and you get a helmet that’s as big and as heavy as a Volkswagen.)
It was also reported Welker went to a different, slightly bulkier mouthpiece.
The problem is none of the above has been shown to prevent concussion.
It’s a personal choice on the part of the player. Hopefully it may lower the risk. Then again, hopefully Welker won’t take a shot to the head that tests that theory out.