Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s helmet is back in the news.
After sporting his old — and soon-to-banned — Riddell VSR-4, against the New York Jets Sunday, Brady indicated to ESPN’s Mike Reiss Monday the change is likely “for the foreseeable future.”
For those who noticed Tom Brady going back to his old helmet on Sunday, I asked him about it today and it sounds like he plans to stick with it for the foreseeable future. This is the last season he is allowed to wear it. Ultimately, he's just most comfortable in the old helmet.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 26, 2018
Brady is one of several NFL players who have to change their helmets by the start of next season after 10 styles were banned by the league for performing poorly in laboratory research testing for impact severity. Players may continue to wear the banned styles this season, but Brady has already begun experimenting with an approved model, the Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex, this season. He wore the new helmet throughout the preseason as well as the majority of the regular season.
During the preseason, Brady admitted he was initially “very resistant” to the switch. He noted there were a “few little tweaks” he’d like to make to the new helmet, including adjusting its facemask.
“You’ve seen something a certain way for a long period of time, so I like as much vision as possible with the peripheral vision,” he said in August. “It’s all important — it all matters — so, yeah, just making sure it’s kind of similar to what the experience has always been.”
The Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex ranked third in the NFL’s list of helmets that best reduce impact severity. Brady has never been formally diagnosed with a concussion, though his wife, Gisele Bündchen, said in a May interview he has suffered multiple, including one during the 2016-17 season.
“Hopefully, the helmet provides more protection,” Brady said. “I’ve been wearing a very old helmet for a long period of time, but it’s worked pretty well, too, so that’s why I haven’t been — I’ve been a little hesitant to change.”