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Wake Up Washington | Commanders adjust to guardian caps at first practice of training camp


There was an organic kind of background music playing as Washington's first sessions of training camp kicked off on Wednesday, July 27. It included fans buzzing on the sidelines and coaches giving encouragement on the field intertwined with the noises of players hitting sleds and bringing balls out of the air. One sound though was notably missing. 

"I don't know if you guys noticed, but you guys didn't hear the clack of the helmets today," Head Coach Ron Rivera said. "That's typically what happens when you don't have these Guardian caps on." 

The Guardian cap isn't a piece of equipment that possesses the pizzaz of say, the Commanders new burgundy matte helmet, but its presence comes with a lot of important talking points. This season marks the first time the NFL is mandating their use. The league is requiring the head ware be worn by offensive and defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers for every preseason practice between the start of training camp up until the second preseason game. 

NFL health and safety research suggests that there is an elevated risk of concussions during this time when more players are in the mix trying to prove themselves when physical drills are frequent. The soft-shell Guardian cap, which attaches over a football helmet, is designed to absorb some of the shock a helmet hit. 

Though it's in the early days of the cap's use in a widespread, mandated way, Rivera seems ready to embrace the tool that aims to put player wellbeing first. 

"I wouldn't be surprised if at some point it's going to be mandated through OTAs and minicamp," Rivera said. "I don't know where it'll go as far as the regular season, but if this comes out and this really helps reduce it [concussion], then I'd imagine we would continue to find ways for player health and safety."

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, July 28, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

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