Could this be the first step in the march to Nerf helmets?
A $60 million research and development initiative announced last week by the National Football League aims to prevent, detect and treat brain injuries among its players. Among the various initiatives aimed at preserving brain health is a search for “new materials and technologies” by the NFL, Under Armour and General Electric Co. that can protect the brain from traumatic injury and track head impacts in real time, according to a news release.
The initiative could mark the beginning of an evolution toward softer helmets, which league officials have repeatedly said are possible in the future as a way to discourage hard hitting. Critics of football's hard plastic helmets have alleged they provide players with a sense of invulnerability that encourages crushing tackles without preventing the associated head injuries.