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Veteran NFL Player Rips The Use Of Guardian Caps

An interior view of the seattle seahawks stadium.

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 24: General view of Qwest Field from the endzone during the NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants on September 24, 2006 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won 42-30. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Some NFL teams are implementing Guardian Caps in training camp in an effort to better protect players. However, not everyone supports the new headwear.

During Wednesday's press conference (h/t Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio), Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Shelby Harris called the Guardian Caps "stupid." 

"I get what they’re trying to do, but the main thing is, you might have guys that start leading with their head more because they’re used to not feeling it," Harris said. ... "And then you get in the game, and next thing you know, they knock themselves out."

Harris, who is entering his eighth season after getting sent from the Denver Broncos as part of the Russell Wilson trade, believes the extra padding could lead players to develop bad habits.

"I just don’t think this is necessarily the answer because of the fact that if you do get used to getting hit in the head with this, you wouldn’t even know," Harris said. "But, you do something in practice without that thing on, you’re like, ‘OK, I’m not doing that again.'"

He predicted that wearing them in training camp is "going to cause more of a problem" when removing them during the regular season.

Four head coaches in the NFL's Competition Committee -- Frank Reich, Ron Rivera, Mike Tomlin, and Mike Vrabel -- recommended the league use the Guardian Caps. The league said they lead to at least a 10 percent impact reduction when worn by one player and a 20 percent decrease when both players in a collision are donning the protective gear.

Harris isn't the only person to raise concerns. Head coaches Robert Saleh and Matt LaFleur made similar points about players using their heads more as a result of taking practice reps with the caps. Meanwhile, Travis Kelce called them "silly."

Their fears are worth monitoring, but players may just need time to grow accustomed to the Guardian Caps.