Texas’ offensive and defensive linemen and linebackers will wear an extra layer of padded helmet protection in practices this season to help reduce the possibility of concussions.
At first glance, it appears the Longhorns are wearing helmets from the future. In reality, it’s a sleeve that goes on top of the traditional helmet to provide another layer of cushioning.
Texas coach Tom Herman said players at those positions will wear the extra padding at all practices. As of now, NCAA rules prohibit wearing anything additional on the outside of helmets in games.
“A lot of the big guys’ concussion come from repetitive blows,” Herman said after Friday’s first practice. “Obviously they’re not high-impact, high-speed blows to the head. But it’s a repetitive thing. So more and more schools are going to those pads in practice just to soften some of those repetitive blows.”
The extra padded equipment is another step forward by the Texas medical staff, which takes extremely proactive measures to protect players from concussions. Players have sensors inside their helmet that can measure the impact of various hits to the head.
UT team doctors are known for being extra cautious with anyone, regardless of sport, who may have suffered a head injury.
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