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Riddell urges players to switch helmet models

Patrick Peterson

The Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson holds a helmet during a news conference, Friday, April 29, 2011, at the team’s football training facility in Tempe, Ariz. The cornerback from LSU was selected as the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Pat Shannahan)


Riddell, the company that makes most of the helmets worn in the NFL, is urging players to change helmet models after a study found that the model worn by 38 percent of players last season is not particularly good at preventing concussions.

Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received a low one-star rating in a study of football helmets led by a Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering. But the Riddell Revolution Speed was the only helmet to get a five-stars rating.

“It is our hope that based upon this and other independent research, that players and teams at all levels will continue to migrate to the Revolution family of helmets,” Riddell Sports president Dan Arment said in a statement emailed to the Associated Press.

NFL players decide for themselves which brand and model of helmet to wear. A model designed by Adams USA that a handful of players wear received an even lower rating than the one-star helmet, with researchers labeling that helmet as “not recommended.”

“All of these helmets protect you from skull fracture, so what we’re doing is going to the next level and looking at how they protect you from brain injury,” said Stefan Duma, the professor who led the study. “We’re basing this analysis off a million impacts we’ve collected. We know how players are hit. . . . It’s much more elaborate than anyone’s ever looked at, in terms of evaluating the performance of helmets.”