“We have well over 700 players that used the visors last year,” said Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL Partnerships.
The face shield has received a better response than the mask suggestion.
“The player feedback was integral in coming up with this design,” said Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL’s Engineering Committee. “They (Oakley) would start with this design and say: ‘Do you like this one better or this one? How’s your field of view on this one?’
“At the end, they did have feedback from players. This was their choice for the players they’ve evaluated so far. I think each player is going to have an evaluation for themselves in terms of exactly how they favor one concept versus another.”
Crandall said Oakley came up with the design.
“Clear plastic with slits or holes in it that block any direct path of a droplet, but do promote air flow, communication, soundwaves,” he said.
“They had a visor that covers the eyes. What could we do to cover the mouth and nose area?” Crandall added. “So they came up with a mouth shield that tried to keep the field of view as much as possible; you don’t want to block the lower part. You want to promote breathing and not a sense of restriction. You want to maximize comfort.
“Prevention from touching the face was also a consideration, and obviously the biggest consideration was how can you mitigate the exchange of droplets,” he said.
Sills noted the shield was designed to deal with how the virus spreads.
“Just like any face shield or facemask for that matter, you’re thinking about the aerosolization of droplets and the spread of it via that mechanism, which is starting to be recognized as the more important mode of transmission.”