MTSU Reduces Risk Of Concussions With Guardian Caps

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 18:56:59-04

To help Middle Tennessee State University football players players safer during practice, the Blue Raiders have started wearing new headgear to cut down on head related injuries.

The players have taken some hard hits over the past years. The athletics department has tried to cut down on the amount of head related injuries by introducing, guardian caps.

"What it is, is an extra pad to go over the helmet to lower the impact these guys take on," said Keith Bunch, Head Football Athletic Trainer.

The defensive linemen and offensive linemen are the only players that wear the padded caps, and the headgear is only allowed during practice, and not during an actual game.

"We wear it during practice because we hit all day everyday but in the game we're not hitting nearly as hard," said Steven Rhodes, Defensive End.

These guardian caps only cost $59 and players said they are excited about anything that will protect their brain.

"Football's great but player safety comes first, and anything that will help protect my brain I'm worth trying," said Daniel Stephens, Offensive Lineman.

But not everyone was on board.

"I think they've kind of grown into it they've gotten used to it. I think a little bit of it is style, they think the helmet looks a bit bigger," said Bunch.

"At first, I wasn't too high on wearing an extra pad on my helmet I didn't know how heavy it was or how much of a difference it would make, but now I'm glad we did it," said Stephens

Players are not allowed to wear the guardian caps during games due to NCAA guidelines.