BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL really, really wants to play football in 2020, no matter what. And the league is willing to get a little creative.
According to NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer, the league is working with Oakley to develop different face shields that might provide added protection for players. That includes a potential full mask instead of just a face shield, and it includes a mask that has surgical or N95 materials, Mayer said on Adam Schefter’s podcast.
“That’s a possibility,” Mayer told Schefter regarding the potential use of surgical material on football facemasks. “Back in early March I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus. And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses — Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract — these guys got the bit between their teeth.”
Mayer joked: “And I told them, ‘Hey, if this works, I want to make sure they call ’em Mayer Masks. If it doesn’t work, we can call it something else.”
Mayer told Schefter that an exact design is not yet settled upon, but many considerations are being tested.
“They’ve got some prototypes. They’re doing really good work,” he said. “Some of them, when you first look at them, you think, ‘Oh, gosh, no,’ because you’re not used to seeing it. You’re just not used to seeing it. But they’re looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up. What do we do with that? But these guys are used to dealing with this stuff.”
Mayer added: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Mayer told Schefter that his concern is, of course, making the game as safe as possible for the players.
“I’m gonna listen to that information and I’m going to ask the question which you’d expect me to ask, which is, ‘Of the options you’re considering, which is the safest for the players, and scientifically so?'” Mayer shared. “So that it’s not just an attitude, but that we’re gonna try to choose the scientifically safest pathway to go.”