What Are Guardian Caps And Why Are NFL Players Wearing Them During Training Camp?

Jul 31, 2022, 10:00 AM
Tight ends Cole Fotheringham and Foster Moreau run through a blocking drill during the team's first...
HENDERSON, NEVADA - JULY 27: Tight ends Cole Fotheringham #85 and Foster Moreau #87 of the Las Vegas Raiders run through a blocking drill during the team's first fully padded practice during training camp at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on July 27, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With all NFL team training camps underway, some players are sporting guardian caps.

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt jokingly called it a beehive.

The guardian cap is new to training camps this year. During the offseason, NFL owners passed a resolution requiring the usage of the padded helmet for all 32 teams.

What are guardian caps and who needs to wear them?

The caps are made of foam and padding placed around the shell of a player’s helmet.

“The Competition Committee, the Owners Health and Safety Committee, and now the full ownership endorsed a mandate for using the Guardian Cap for all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers any day that helmets are worn, up to the second preseason game,” Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President Overseeing Player Health & Safety said during a health and safety-focused media briefing on March 29, 2022.¬† Some teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, are requiring all players to wear the padded helmet.

In a transcript from that media briefing, Miller goes on to say if one person is wearing the helmet, “the Guardian Cap saves about 10% of the force of that impact.” But, if both players are wearing the caps, that number increases to 20%.

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What Are Guardian Caps And Why Are NFL Players Wearing Them During Training Camp?