When Patrick Mahomes’ helmet broke during the frigid Dolphins-Chiefs playoff game in Kansas City, questions were immediately raised about how such a thing could happen and whether the extreme cold caused it.
NFL Executive V.P. Jeff Miller said today that league engineers have Mahomes’ broken helmet and are examining it, working with the manufacturer, VICIS, to determine what went wrong.
“Obviously the conditions were extreme and may have contributed to the potential failure in that case,” Miller said. “We want to know how the helmets perform not just in optimal situations but in extreme situations.”
Miller expressed confidence in the safety of the helmets that players wear, even if in this one case there was cause for concern.
“It happens so seldom, and we’re grateful for that,” Miller said. “The work the manufactures have done to create better and better helmets with each succeeding helmet is impressive.”
Miller said almost all players have backup helmets in place should anything go wrong with their primary helmet, and Mahomes was quickly able to switch to his backup. The league will continue to look at helmet testing and the performance of helmets in the most extreme weather conditions.