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NFL, NFLPA prohibit use of 10 helmet models after lab testing

Wild Card Round - Oakland Raiders v Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: A Houston Texans equipment manager carries helmets after the game against the Oakland Raiders at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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The NFL and NFLPA made a joint announcement about laboratory testing on helmets Monday that included news that 10 low-performing models will no longer be cleared for use by NFL players.

In a statement, the league and union said that the models have been banned because they “perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets.” Players could previously use any helmet that met National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment criteria for certification.

Six of the models are banned immediately while the other four can continue to be used by players who wore them last season.

As noted by Jenny Vrentas of, that group includes the Riddell VSR4 helmet that has been the preferred helmet of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over the course of his career.