I have this feeling that when Justin Tuck (Giants), Chris Canty (former Giants; now Ravens) and Ray Lewis (Ravens; now retired) came out with customized facemasks on their helmets, the NFL wasn’t too comfortable with them because they probably thought it was excessive and might be looked at like an advantage; when the Arizona Cardinals’ Darnell Dockett came out with it “Optimus Prime” grill, that’s when the league said enough was enough.
Those types of face-covering facemasks have been made illegal by the NFL, because it’s considered “a prohibited non-standard customized face mask.” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy sent an email to NFL.com on Friday and wrote, “A player would need a medical reason to wear this type of face mask.” The players that fall under the “Medical reasons” are Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (prevention measure from a torn retina) and Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (multiple neck injuries in the past); both of players applied for medical clearance and got permission from the league to wear those helmets of extra protection.
“I invented it,” Canty told the Baltimore Sun. “We developed something that can keep hands out of my face, so it wouldn’t detach my retina again. … I can’t help it that other guys think it’s cool and they want to wear it, too. It’s a necessity for me.”
“Everybody is like, ‘Can I get that facemask?’ No, it’s exclusive to me, no one else can have it,” Tuck said last year. “But it’s a copycat league in everything people do so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few of those floating around before we play.”
Players like Colts Robert Mathis, Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and Dockett don’t have medical issues and are not permitted to wear there “masterpieces”. Mathis tweeted his unhappiness.
its official…. the league says i cant wear my facemask. I will return to my run of the mill grill.
— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) August 9, 2013