Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, and other star players in the NFL will be testing a new helmet called the “Zero1” this season: the headpiece promises to better protect athletes against a range of head and brain injuries thanks to a material that gives on impact and then immediately bounces back. A recent study of the brains of deceased NFL football players found signs of degenerative brain disease in 99 percent of former players. Mounting safety concerns have already rattled the NFL. Players traditionally deemed fit — in terms of age and skill level — continue to walk away from the game. Since the Zero1 is only now entering its first game, it remains to be seen if it’s capable of drastically improving player safety and tidying up the NFL’s tarnished image. Though it’s unlikely the NFL dries up without the emergence of a company like Vicis, even a few star players walking away from the game is damning evidence of an eventual decline.