Kickers & punters who’ve enjoyed the use of single-bar facemasks now have to face some sad facts - the NFL won’t allow those helmets anymore.
The BOSTON GLOBE reports that Scott Player - who’s kicked around with the Arizona Cardinals & Cleveland Browns - says he was told by the NFL that the single-bar masks have been stricken from the league’s legal equipment list.
The single bars were actually barred sometime ago, but the NFL allowed some players like Player to keep wearing their simple masks. However, Player was informed a few days ago that his kind of helmet was now “outlawed”.
Player’s currently in camp with the Patriots, and the new helmets haven’t been a great help in getting him a roster spot:
“Where I hold the ball at, now the facemask is in the way,” he said. “So I’m kind of having to alter my drop a little bit.”
Sigh. One more piece of football nostalgia falling victim to changing times. Maybe the NFL is just protecting themselves from any potential lawsuits, in case a kicker loses an eye to a wayward pigskin crashing into his ill-protected face. Or maybe Riddell just told them to do it.
But the saddest part of all - no longer will we be able to witness the full-face images of such delightful mugs as Scott’s. At least kickers don’t have to worry about looking as good for the cameras anymore.