A Virgina Tech study revealed that almost 40 percent of NFL player use a helmet that is inadequate or meager at best at protecting against concussions. The Riddell VSR-4 model was given only a one-star rating out of a possible five stars. It was, like all the other helmets rated, ver effective against skull fractures, but the study was looking at the helmets in terms of preventing concussions or other brain injury, Riddell has since stopped selling the helmet, but what in that post describing the study, I posed a question about our favorite Cardinal, Kurt Warner and the type of helmet he had. I asked:
Heck, it would be interesting to see what model helmet Kurt Warner used. Had he used a different model, maybe he would have been less likely to retire after 2009.
So, later in the morning on Tuesday I got an email from Glenn Beckmann, who works for Schutt Sports, which is another manufacturer of football helmets. He sent me this:
Saw your blog today regarding the newly released helmet testing results from Va Tech. Also saw your comment about Kurt Warner's helmet.
He wore the VSR-4 throughout his career. If you look at photos, you can tell because of the mohawk-like ridge down the middle of the helmet, the large back plate on the back of the helmet and the absence of ventilation holes around the crown of the helmet.
Warner suffered concussions, we all know that. In fact, it was one factor for his retiring following the 2009 season. He was concerned with the beating he took and the head injuries and wanted to be healthy for the rest of his life with his family.
This is from Kent Somers' report on the retirement:
The concussion and a rib injury suffered against the Saints played a part in Warner's decision to retire, he said, if only to convince him he was leaning in the right direction.
The beating he took was not going to change because of his helmet, but the concussions I imagine were the greater concern. The helmet he chose to wear did not protect well against concussions. Had he worn a different one, perhaps he would not have had the number of concussions he did.
Had he not had the number of concussions, would he have played another year or two? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Since we as fans love to speculate and pose the all important 'what if' questions, I think this one is worth posing. Had Warner used a better helmet, would he still be playing today?