Hard-shell helmets, which were designed to prevent players from suffering catastrophic injuries like fractured skulls, became popular in the 1940s. But helmets also created a sense of invulnerability that encouraged players to collide more forcefully and often use their head like a weapon, resulting in a dramatic rise in concussions.
In other contact sports like Australian Rules Football, players seldom suffer concussions because they don't use their head when attempting to tackle.
Although doing away with helmets in American football could fundamentally change the game, more researchers say it might be the only way to reduce the alarming rate of concussions.
Thanks to Penn State Clips.