Alright guys, we keep hearing about the crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits & the importance of player safety from Goodell's NFL. Funny thing is, the NFL cronies are not attacking the cause of the 'danger', only the 'effect'.
If they really wanted to improve player safety, if they were really serious, the single most dangerous aspect of NFL football, and in fact, helmet-to-helmet hits, is.... the helmet. It is the weapon that makes helmet-to-helmet hits the danger they are.
Now, I could be extreme & suggest the NFL does away with the helmet. But I won't be extreme. I'll suggest an option.
Right now, the NFL helmet is, I believe, 2-layered. The inner casing is that white padded perspex, which is, in turn, surrounded by the harder perspex shell on the outside. The outside shell allows for nice, sleek, attractive looking helmets. It's also dangerously hard when in contact with a person's face, for example.
My suggestion involves a bit of sideways thinking- keep the inner padded perspex layer to form the 'shape' of the helmet, but instead of adding a hard perspex coating to the outside, use a much softer, and safer, casing of rubber on the outside- say 4-8mm thick. Essentially, you protect the players head with a big padded helmet, but you also protect the opposition player due to the softer casing coming in contact with them.
Rubber products are easy to access, affordable & technology alows them to be used in many varied ways. There is really no reason you couldn't encase players heads in rubber & offer them superior protection while eliminating a large portion of personal injury risk to the players around them.