New ‘QB-Specific’ Helmets Unveiled, Will Kenny Pickett Wear One?

For the first time, there is a position-specific football helmet available to those in the NFL. As written by’s Judy Battista Thursday morning, the company VICIS is making the first QB-specific helmet designed to offer them greater protection in an effort to reduce concussions and injuries. Quarterbacks in 2023 will be able to wear such a helmet.

From Battista, who outlined the changes in the hardware.

“From the outside, the quarterback helmet does not look any different. On the inside is an engineered column structure. The tiny columns might be just 1.5 millimeters in diameter, but by changing their diameter, how many there are and the stiffness of the material they are made of, engineers can modify the way the helmet absorbs impact at the location of the hit without changing the weight of the fit of the helmet.”

As the research notes, studies have shown quarterbacks don’t have the greatest risk for concussions scrambling and running downfield. Most occur from the pocket when the quarterback’s head hits the ground, absorbing a heavy blow. Pittsburgh knows that well, seeing QB Kenny Pickett suffer two concussions as a rookie, both occurring behind the line of scrimmage and from his head hitting off the ground.

According to Battista’s report, this helmet has been in the works for years, going through tests and NFL approval. The league has finally granted it and now it’s a matter of whether quarterbacks will wear it.

Pickett changed helmets after his second concussion last year, wearing a sort of oversized-looking one in an effort to protect his head. With this new helmet not outwardly looking any different, it seems reasonable to assume he’d want to wear this one for the 2023 season. Two concussions in one year is concerning; a third would be all the more troubling.

At the time, Pickett said he made the switch in order to be safer on the field, though noted he had to pick a helmet with the right facemask that wouldn’t get in the way. One issue, per Battista, is VICIS isn’t a well-known brand to athletes and may make players more hesitant to try them. Last year, there was an offensive line/defensive line helmet made by the company available to players but only a “handful” of them actually used it, despite the NFLPA pushing how highly rated they were.

Quarterback concussions were a serious issue throughout last season, highlighted by the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, who missed multiple games after a sustaining a serious head injury. Overall, it was a difficult year for the position with 68 quarterbacks starting games across the league last season.

According to the report, position-specific helmets for wide receivers and defensive backs will be made available next season.

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