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NFL To Ban Custom Facemasks

The NFL wants its players to be protected - that is why over $100 million has gone to research to develop better and safer equipment. Some of the NFL’s more prominent players, such as DeMarcus Ware, Darnell Dockett and Robert Mathis, have gotten creative with safety by designing stylish facemasks that are both intimidating and practical in protection. However, the league has announced it is prohibiting custom facemasks that cover the overwhelming majority of the facial area.

The reason being? Dean Blandino, the National Football League’s VP of Officiating, thinks these gargantuan grills on players’ helmets can potentially lead to injury rather than protect the players. “The helmet, as technology has gotten better and better, players feel more empowered to use their heads,” said Blandino, who appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on NBC Sports Network, “and that’s part of what we’re trying to get out of the game.”

Certain players, ones who have certain injuries to the head, neck, eye or face, have been granted medical permission by the league to wear these types of masks, including Ravens DT Chris Canty and Giants DE Justin Tuck. The premise is that, with more bars on the mask, the less likely an opponent will be able to grab onto or reach inside the mask and re-injure the player. Any player who has no medical reason to wear a customized mask will not be permitted to use it during play.

Colts LB Robert Mathis doesn’t seem to like this rule…


…and Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett took it a couple steps further.



These facemasks were definitely a favorite of fans because they made their favorite players look like superheroes, but the NFL has made its ruling on yet another area of players have, or had, control over.


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