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Bucs testing prototype mouth shields designed to mitigate on-field spread of coronavirus

Players tried them out during Sunday's practice to mixed reviews.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans practices with a protective mouth guard, designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the field Sunday.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans practices with a protective mouth guard, designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the field Sunday. [ Buccaneers.com ]
Published Aug. 10, 2020|Updated Aug. 10, 2020

The Bucs were testing new mouth shields designed to protect players from COVID-19 at Sunday’s practice.

The shields, attached under the face guard of a player’s helmet, were manufactured by Oakley and designed with help from doctors and engineers from the NFL and the players union.

The shields are plastic sheets with airways to breathe through but supposed to prevent the direct transmission of droplets. They extend below a visor and attach to the face guard.

They received mixed reviews, with running back Ronald Jones saying, players “aren’t too fond of them.”

The league is testing out the model during training camp to gauge player input.

“Most of the guys said that they really couldn’t breathe well with the visor on and they said if you didn’t have the visor on, it didn’t really work,” Jones said. “So you’ve got to find a balance with this. I would obviously just probably go with the regular visor. There’s still some holes in there, so air’s getting in and out every place, but it will be interesting to see.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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