Toward the Development of Position-Specific Helmets

Consideration of position-specific features of the NFL concussion environment could enable improved risk mitigation through the design of position-specific helmets. In a recent article written by David Lessley, PhD, PE, along with Senior Author and PISC Senior Scholar, Kristy Arbogast, PhD, and colleagues, position-specific features of scenarios resulting in concussions to NFL players, and the players they contact, are quantified over the course of 4 seasons.

Position-specific features were documented for 647 concussions in which a primary exposure could be visualized, including impact source, helmet impact location, activity, and the other player with whom the contact occurred.

With the unique responsibilities of a player’s position, players experienced different impact environments and different injury risk and causation profiles depending on position played. The study shows that some features of concussion scenarios are common to all positions, but several position-specific features exist and can inform the design of position-specific helmets for NFL players.

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