Publish date:

NFLPA, Oakley Testing Facemasks With N95 Material

The NFL is partnering with Oakley to test modified face masks that "may contain surgical or N95 material," according to NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer. 

"Back in early March, I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus," Mayer told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses–Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract–these guys got the bit between their teeth."

Mayer did not disclose specifics for the prototypes currently being tested by the NFL. But the league is currently exploring a slate of options for its face masks in 2020, with a focus on manufacturing masks that wouldn't fog up during gameplay.

SI Recommends

"They've got some prototypes; they're doing really good work," he said. "Some of them, when you first look at them, you think, 'Gosh, no,' Mayer said. "But they're looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up. What do we do with that? But these guys are used to dealing with this stuff."

The NFL has continued with its offseason amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league released its schedule on May 7, with opening night slated for Sept. 10.