Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes a new, high-tech helmet prevented him from sustaining his third concussion of the season during Sunday's NFC Championship Game win over the Bears, SI.com reported Tuesday.
Rodgers was walloped early in the fourth quarter by Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers, with Peppers' helmet hitting Rodgers in the head and lifting his helmet up.
Rodgers appeared shaken initially, but said he was not woozy after the game. Peppers was flagged for a 15-yard penalty in accordance with the NFL's ban on helmet-to-helmet hits.
"That was lucky,'' Rodgers told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "As much as the new helmet feels uncomfortable and I'm still getting used to it, I'm really happy I was wearing it on that hit.''
"It hurt, I can tell you that. He hit me pretty good. I know what a concussion feels like. I'm just grateful this wasn't hard enough to give me another one.''
The newly designed helmets are meant to limit concussions, and the NFL has urged players to switch.
Helmet-maker Riddell claims that its Revolution model can decrease the risk of concussion by 31 percent, while rival Schutt claims its newest helmet is 44 percent safer than the Revolution.
However, the claims have not been substantiated independently. Earlier this month, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) requested that the Federal Trade Commission review both companies' claims.
Rodgers has already sustained two concussions this season. The first occurred in overtime of a loss at Washington on Oct. 10, though Rodgers played the following week.
The second happened in the second quarter of a 7-3 loss at Detroit on Dec. 12, and Rodgers missed the next game at New England.
The 27-year-old is enjoying a prolific postseason so far, with 790 yards and six touchdowns in three games, as the Packers head into Super Bowl XLV next Sunday against Pittsburgh.