New helmet rules have Brady, at 41, planning for next season

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 9 : Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on during the preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium on August 9, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  — Tom Brady is breaking in a new helmet this exhibition season, yet another sign the 41-year-old quarterback is planning to play in 2019.

Brady’s old helmet is among the models being phased out by the NFL because tests showed it is not as effective at protecting against concussions. The new rules take effect next season, but Brady used a compliant helmet in last week’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the one he has had through most of his NFL career.

Brady says he’s still tweaking the new model to make sure the mask allows for the same comfort and peripheral vision as the one he’s used to. The most visible difference for fans is that it has a panel in front instead of solid plastic.

The quarterback says he asked his teammates if he looked younger or faster in it. “They said yes, so I might keep it,” Brady says.