Green Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell doesn’t like the reasoning behind the usage of “Guardian Caps,” a new protective measure worn on the helmet to help reduce the severity of impacts between players during NFL practices.
The Packers have been wearing the covers on helmets of all line of scrimmage players – offensive line, defensive line, linebackers and tight ends – throughout training camp, as mandated by the NFL in March of this year.
“Not a big fan of them,” Campbell said. “I really don’t have any control over them, so I kind of have to do what they say.”
Campbell, a 2021 All-Pro, questioned wearing a protective device that won’t be worn during actual games.
“I just think it’s stupid, to be honest,” Campbell said. “You say you’re doing it to protect us, but the minute we take them off, we’re going to be so used to hitting with them, that when you hit without it, it’s going to feel a lot different. That’s just my two cents on it.”
NFL statistics revealed a high number of concussions sustained early on in training camp. The covering is designed to reduce impact and lessen the frequency of concussions during these early weeks of camp.
Coach Matt LaFleur is fully supportive of the intent of the Guardian Caps – to help preserve the long-term brain health of players – but had similar concerns about the ripple effects of wearing the devices during camp. More specifically, he doesn’t want a false sense of security to weaken a player’s tackling technique and create more head injuries during games.
“The thing I somewhat worry about is when you do have that cushion on your helmet, and we’re making a huge emphasis with our coaches about this, I don’t want the guys to feel the confidence that they can now use their head. ,” LaFleur said. “So, that’s one of the things that’s not so great about it is you can get a false confidence and now your technique suffers, and I definitely don’t want to see us go that way.”
After the second week of the preseason, teams no longer have to wear the coverings on helmets.
Campbell led the Packers in tackles last season. He signed a $50 million deal to return to Green Bay.
Story originally appeared on Packers Wire