Football: NFL players' helmets rated low

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 40 percent of NFL players last season wore a helmet model that got the second-lowest rating for reducing the risk of concussions in a study by Virginia Tech researchers.
Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received just one star in a study of football helmets led by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma and released Tuesday.
Another Riddell model — the Revolution Speed — was the only helmet that earned five stars, the top rating.
Five models — two made by Riddell, two by Schutt and one by Xenith — received four stars.
According to Riddell, 38 percent of NFL players wore the low-rated VSR-4 in 2010. The company also said 39 percent wore one of the various models that fall under the Riddell Revolution name or the new Riddell 360.
“It is our hope that based upon this and other independent research, that players and teams at all levels will continue to migrate to the Revolution family of helmets,” Riddell Sports president Dan Arment said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press by an outside PR firm that represents the manufacturer.
Each NFL player is allowed to choose which brand and model of helmet he wears.
In November, the NFL told the AP it estimated that 75 percent of helmets used in 2010 were made by Riddell, which has had a licensing/sponsorship agreement with the league since 1990. The league said 23 percent were made by Schutt, 1 to 2 percent by Xenith, and a handful by Adams USA.
A helmet made by Adams was the only one that received a rating of “not recommended” by Duma’s study.
Duma said in a telephone interview that this is the first time comparative test results on football helmets have been made public.