How Do Helmets Protect Football Players?


It almost seems like football and head injuries go hand in hand. Despite the introduction of protective headgear and shoulder pads, injuries to the upper extremities are still commonplace on the field.

So why wear bother wearing a helmet?

Contrary to what people may think, helmets are an extremely vital piece of equipment for football players.

Not only will you be protected from head injuries, but helmets offer effective protection against other potential hazards, too. 

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several football players tackling each other
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Helmets Prevent Facial and Dental Injuries

If you’re asking yourself ”How do helmets protect football players” when concussions and other forms of head injury are so common? It’s important to remember that a football helmet is there to protect against other injuries, too, such as facial injuries, smashed teeth, and neck injuries. 

Many top NFL players have lucrative media contracts and can be seen appearing in adverts, talk shows, and even cameos on TV shows. They’d be a little upset, then, if they arrived at the studio with gashes to their faces and missing teeth.

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Football helmets are designed to protect this area thanks to the mesh at the front. This protects sensitive areas such as the orbital bone, the teeth, and the bridge of the nose. All of these areas can bleed profusely and massively obstruct a player’s vision as a result.

Players will also be thankful that their cosmetics are protected, too.

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Video: Teddy Bridgewater Scary Injury

Courtesy Preston Sports on Youtube

You Can’t Always See Head Injuries

There’s a misconception that head injuries are immediately apparent and cause huge, noticeable injuries. This isn’t always the case, as conditions such as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) can take years (or even decades) to develop.

Numerous NFL stars have been posthumously diagnosed with CTE after years of bizarre, eccentric, and even violent and criminal behavior. The condition is caused by multiple small brain injuries building up over time, changing the proteins in the brain and causing behavior changes. 

There is no cure for CTE but its risk can be reduced by wearing a good quality helmet, concussion management, and adequate rest between games. 

CTE is a silent killer – make sure you reduce your chances of developing it by wearing a properly certified, good-quality helmet.

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The Helmet’s Versatile Outer Shell

Your football helmet doesn’t just minimize the concussion risk, as studies show that a well-made piece of headgear can cut the risk of skull fractures by up to 70%.

A skull fracture is often a life-changing and sometimes fatal injury. Remember that you get what you pay for, so don’t be afraid to splash the cash a little for the sake of your health. It’ll be worth it.

IMPORTANT: How to Know Your Helmet Size

Despite what people think, concussion isn’t the main risk when playing football as neck injuries are also commonplace and have ended dozens of NFL careers.

The pure physical nature of football can result in severe whiplash from tackles when the head snaps in opposing directions at speed. A top-quality football helmet can limit the range of head and neck movement – reducing the possibility of whiplash and further protecting the head and neck area.

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Video: Donald Parham Serious Head Injury December 16, 2021.

Courtesy Palm Doctor on Youtube

The hard shell also helps protect your upper vertebrae from injury when you fall to the ground – protecting you from disability, paralysis, and even sudden death. How do helmets protect football players? They do so by covering the areas most capable of causing severe injury.

Different Helmets For Different Needs

Not all football helmets are created equal, as the requirements of your headgear will depend on what position you play.  For example, a quarterback will need a face mask that provides both ample protection and a wide viewing angle. Linebackers, however, need maximum protection due to their explosive roles on the field. 

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Improved Safety and Confidence

Once you’ve found the right helmet for your position, another added plus is you’ll feel more protected and safe from oncoming tackles. The benefits of wearing a helmet aren’t just physical, they’re mental, too.

In a sport where even the finest detail matters, wearing a helmet can add confidence to your game and allow you to fully express yourself on the field. Even if you aren’t sold on the physical protection, keep in mind that you’ll be considerably less confident should you not wear one.

two football teams line up ready to start play
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Summing Up

I hope your initial question of ‘how do helmets protect football players’ has been answered in this article. We can conclude that wearing appropriate headgear reduces the risk of head injury and can add a crucial mental advantage to your game.

You’ll need to purchase a helmet that suits your on-field needs and make sure that it fits properly and the chinstrap is properly fastened for maximum protection.

Football helmets do a lot more than merely protect against concussions – they’re capable of saving your life and helping you become the best version of yourself on the field. Don’t take your helmet for granted if you wish to make it in the world of football.

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Brian Tennant

Brian describes himself as a former all-around sports guy who was into just about everything. From college football and hockey to individual 'fun' such as snowboarding, water skiing, and tenpin bowling. Nowadays, due to an expanding waistline, he has become a full-time spectator. He works part-time telecommuting as an IT Support Technician, the other part of his time is spent freelance writing for private clients. Brian has 2 teenage boys who are right into football, and a daughter who enjoys inline skating. Brian's wife Elena is also a freelance writer.

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