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30 Aug 17Ex-New York Jets Lineman Looks To Make Game Safer With Helmet

In December 2015, Will Smith took to the big screen to play a forensic pathologist who took on the NFL about traumatic brain injuries and subsequent diseases, especially chronic traumatic encephalopathy. At the same time, a product was in development that now is poised to reduce the chance of these brain injuries.

That product, ProTech, is a shell that can be attached to a variety of football helmets, primarily those models produced by Riddell and Schutt. Created by Defend Your Head, a Pennsylvania-based company founded by two former football players, John Roman and Glenn Tilley, the ProTech shell is designed to absorb and redistribute the impact of a hit to the head. The two joined forces over a shared desire to make football safer.

The shell is made of a polyurethane foam, as opposed to the polycarbonate material used to make helmets. This design aligns with proven science that a soft object, when impacted by a harder object, diffuses kinetic energy. ProTech’s polyurethane composition also means that it is slicker than a normal helmet, preventing dangerous blows from the side from having greater impact with the head. The shell moves over the helmet as it is impacted to deflect hits away from the head.

“We’re making a difference, and that’s what’s driven all of us to come together,” Roman, who was an offensive lineman for the New York Jets, told SportTechie. “We’re seeing evidence and feedback from players in the field that our product has the ability to reduce helmet collision force.”

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