The NFL could be about to remove one of the iconic features of the game. The helmet.
The chairman of the NFL health and safety advisory committee, Dr. John York admitted to the BBC that it is something that the NFL is looking at implementing in the future.
Can I see a time without helmets? Yes. It's not around the corner, but I can see it.
The NFL has been going through an expensive and lengthy court battle after a $1 billion legal settlement with ex-players over dementia and head trauma that looks to be from concussions sustained during their playing careers.
The helmet has been a feature of American football since it was made mandatory in 1943. It's believed that despite providing some protection against head trauma should a player fall and hit their head, but it also emboldens players to use their helmets as battering rams which leads to a bigger instance of concussion. Helmet-on-helmet collisions are outlawed, but
As a consequence, the health and safety committee are looking at trying to make the game safer by removing the helmet. Dr. York does say that other rule changes would have to be implemented before the helmet is banned, such as outlawing the three point stance that most linemen take before the snap which refers to three of their limbs touching the ground in preparation for the play.
It's an interesting move to consider, especially as there are some calls for rugby to move the other way and implement a helmet rule. For the NFL, there is a thought that this could help some code-hopping players like former rugby league player Jarryd Hayne of the 49ers or former rugby player Daniel Adongo of the Colts.
What is positive is that the NFL is looking at making the game safer, and once there is more widespread knowledge on concussion and how it can be prevented then all of sport will be in a better place.