Louisiana State University linebacker Soni Fonua found what could be a fatal flaw with the new face shields designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the gridiron – the inability of the player to breathe.

Fonua posted a video of himself wearing a helmet fitted with the new shield in the LSU locker room, saying, “I can’t f**king breathe under this thing. Yes sir.” Offensive lineman Austin Deculus added, “It’s like breathing in a Ziploc bag.”

LSU LB Soni Fonua wearing his COVID face shield helmet: “I can’t fucking breathe under this thing!”Senior offensive lineman Austin Deculus: “It’s like breathing in a Ziploc bag.”

Breathing difficulties or not, the players may have no choice but to wear the Schutt Splash Shields on their helmets. LSU’s football equipment crew said on Twitter: “Adapt, adjust. Splash Shields ready to go.”

Adapt. Adjust. Splash shields ready to go.

A similar shield developed by Oakley will be used in the National Football League this season, though it likely won’t be mandatory for players. The NFL Players Association has opposed making it requisite. The Oakley Mouth Shield at least has air openings. 

Difficulties breathing might not be the only unintended consequence of the face shields, as a fogged mask would also make it difficult to actually see the ball.

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