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NFL testing facemasks with surgical or N95 material to be worn during games

Giants Mock Draft
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is currently testing prototype facemasks designed to protect players this fall as the league attempts to combat COVID-19.

Speaking with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his podcast Monday, NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer said players could wear a protective mask this coming season.

“Yes, it’s a possibility,” Mayer said. “Back in early March, I suggested ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks … the league’s bioengineers are testing prototypes with Oakley. They’re looking at every issue, including when masks fog up.”

Mayer noted the specialized facemasks would include surgical or N95 material to protect the players. The NFL is currently working with Oakley, Inc. on these products.

As someone who has gone out jogging while wearing a mask, it’s tough to breathe heavily when exerting oneself while wearing a mask. I’ll personally be fascinated to see how the NFL comes up with a plan for these facemasks that doesn’t lead to players gasping for air.