While often overlooked, linemen were the focus behind the development of a new football helmet. VICIS, a helmet manufacturing company, recently introduced the TRENCH, a helmet designed to address the needs of linemen. The new helmet specifically focuses on better protecting the frontal region, an area where linemen receive the most contact.
The TRENCH is part of VICIS' recently launched ZERO2 platform of helmets designed to better improve player safety. The TRENCH has been endorsed by Justin Britt, a former Seahawks lineman who spent six seasons in Seattle.
"When you're on the line, every snap is a battle. Linemen are the only players getting hit each and every play, so it never made much sense why we would wear a helmet that wasn't designed specifically for the trenches," Britt recently told the Associated Press. "I've worn a VICIS helmet since 2017 to protect myself while I protect the quarterback, and I can't wait to wear the ZERO2 TRENCH next season."
VICIS has unveiled the ZERO2 TRENCH, the first ever position specific helmet; made specifically for offensive and defensive linemen.— Helmet Stalker (@HelmetStalker) February 17, 2021
The TRENCH is an additional pad attached to the crown of the ZERO2 shell to help with low velocity impact experienced by linemen every play. pic.twitter.com/5plUsorxWm
Improving player safety -- specifically as it relates to head injuries -- has been a focus for the NFL over the past decade. New rules have been integrated to promote player safety. Defensive backs are now penalized for targeting, an illegal hit delivered with the crown of a helmet. In 2018, the NFL and NFLPA prohibited 10 helmet models from being worn by players.
The NFL has also implemented stricter concussion protocols, as players must go through a myriad of tests and evaluations before being cleared off of protocol. In 2016, the NFL pledged $100 million to player safety that included the "Play Safe, Play Smart" initiative.
"The goal is to pursue scientific research to examine the long-term effects of concussion," Goodell wrote in 2016, "the incidence and prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and what can be done to improve long-term player health."