GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals defenseman and three-time Defenseman of the Year JJ Watt isn’t a fan of wearing the Guardian cap during training camp, and he wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts on Friday.
“I mean, I think you know how I feel about the Guardian Caps we wear,” Watt said with a chuckle.
Watt didn’t hesitate when asked if he could feel the difference wearing the padded shell that attaches to the outside of his helmet.
“You feel like a bobblehead,” Watt said dryly. “Like you’re about to fall. I’ll probably get a fine for that. That’s great. You guys are just kidding me to start the whole year.
The Guardian Cap is required for all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends, and linebackers during training camp practice through the second preseason game. In a press release, the NFL said the camp period is when the league noted the “greatest concentration of helmet impacts.”
The Guardian Cap reduces impact severity by 10% when worn by one player and by at least 20% when worn by two players, according to the press release. Watt was aware that they are contracted, but only for a limited time.
“But not in the games,” he said. “So, let’s keep it safe – sometimes. I dont know.
Watt went on to joke that his comments would result in punishment from the NFL.
“That’s great. i’m screwed I’m absolutely screwed,” Watt said. “[NFL commissioner] Roger [Goodell] will call me in about five minutes.”
Teams voted in March to use the Guardian Cap after “consideration and recommendations of the Competitions Committee and the Owners’ Health and Safety Advisory Committee, and after consultation with the league’s head coaches.” Watt said he got used to wearing the Guardian Cap after a while and understands why they are used.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m not an idiot. I mean, I haven’t worn a Guardian Cap in maybe 12 years, but I’m not that stupid, okay? Of course I know. I won’t go too deep into that because I already have 20,000 down so let’s look at 50 [thousand] next and then probably like a four-game suspension after that. Well, Guardian Caps are great, I love them. It’s a great addition. We should wear it all the time.
“We have a couple of guys who might have to carry them like they’re walking around.”