The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver has been through a lot the past year while dealing with concussions. In fact last season I went on record to clear up the actual number of concussions he sustained last year. Collie had three concussions last season and now in an effort to minimize his risks this year he sought out Bill Simpson;
And he reportedly has been working with auto racing safety expert Bill Simpson to design a new football helmet. Collie could not confirm those reports Thursday.
“That is for him to comment on,” he said. “No comment.”
The helmet Collie has been wearing at Anderson University appears to have more padding in the back, and its shape seems slightly different than a regulation helmet.
Last weekend when Will Carroll and I met up in Effingham, Illinois we were wondering about just this, however we had not heard anything, which is odd for the both of us. Today I finally got eyes on, via @IndyStarSports via AP, the helmet
(as seen above) REMOVED. The first thing I noticed, rather did not notice was the missing “Riddell” sticker just above the face mask in the middle (between the screws). The only other striking detail from the above picture was the odd/different shape of the top/crown of the helmet. It seems to me that the helmet is both taller and more bulbous.
During more research further pictures were sent to us to look/analyze;
Looking at the pictures in a clockwise fashion you will notice that A: does not have the distinguishable “third” strap of Xenith, B: has a unique cut in and earhole, C: shows us that this helmet is missing the Riddell sticker and D: shows four air vents without a “needle hole” that would be typical of Schutt. All of the pictures were taken either on the 4th or 6th of August, so they are a few days old, it will be interesting if his choice of head-gear has since changed.
I did put out some calls to people I know in each of the three helmet makers, and no one could confirm or deny that this was their helmet as it too was “new information”. I was also told by a person, who is not authorized to give out specific helmet information, “it is so early in camp we do not know who is in what helmet across the league.”
Regardless of who the maker is in order for Collie to be in said helmet, it MUST have been certified by NOCSAE, if not that would be against the rules. Due to the fact that the helmet should have been NOCSAE approved there would be a paper trail for someone to discover, if I remember correctly that is public information as well.
With all of this being said I am 100% confident that the above pictured helmet that Austin Collie is donning is a prototype, and due to the Simpson connection and the reluctance to answer questions about his helmet, I
would be 75% am now 100% confident that if I were to GUESS it is made by someone other than Xenith or Riddell any of the current “big three”.
If anyone knows more the inbox is open, and you will stay off the record.
UPDATE 8/12 15:03 – A “very” informed emailer let me know that if you dig through the NFL rule book there is not a stipuation that a player has to wear a NOCSAE approved helmet. The emailer even said “if a player wanted to wear the old two bar helmets, the could”. This is good to know, we are continuing to follow this story, and calls to the Colts and Simpson have not been returned.