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Sports Medicine

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The NFL is using Guardian Caps during training camps this summer in an experiment designed to protect players and evaluate the padded shells' effectiveness to inform future health and safety measures. The caps have been used by colleges and several NFL teams experimented with them last year. The NFL required all 32 teams to use them this year so offensive and defensive linemen, linebackers and tight ends have to wear the mushroom-shaped caps during practices through the second preseason game. The program could be expanded to other positions in the future.

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The mushroom-like padding players are wearing on their helmets during training camps this summer are called Guardian Caps. The NFL’s competition committee has mandated that all offensive and defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers wear them up until the second preseason game. The caps feature a 12-ounce padded shell that is affixed to the top of a player’s helmet and are designed to reduce head injuries. The NFL has said studies indicate that when one player wears the protective gear it results in at least a 10% reduction in severity of impact. According to the NFL, that number increases to at least 20% if both players involved in a collision are wearing them.

The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Jamal Adams for an unknown period after he left training camp to seek additional opinions on the surgically repaired fingers on his left hand. Adams participated in the first day of training camp but was absent on Day 2. Coach Pete Carroll says he doesn’t know yet whether another surgery is going to be a consideration. Adams underwent a procedure to fuse two fingers on his left hand after suffering repeated dislocations over the past two years.

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