I think the argument was that it's easier to make sure one helmet fits the right way than it is to hand over a bunch of helmets at different points throughout the season and trust the player to fit it properly. And/or a higher cost of safer helmets or something. But it is most definitely an overreaction.
But isn't it as simple as each player has the specifications that fit them, and they can repeat those over and over again? Like if you're a 52 jersey size, you get 16 size 52 jerseys. Make 16 identical helmets for Joe Flacco. 16 identical ones for C.J. Mosley and so on.
On the flip side, We've seen guys like Ryan Clark and Wes Welker wear over sized helmets meant to reduce the risk of concussion. Why not make those helmets the standard? I get they maybe they are uncomfortable, fine. But I also saw Eddy Lacy, and maybe a couple others wearing new helmet this year that is also supposed to reduce the risk of concussion. It looks like a regular sized helmet, I assume the inner padding is better or something.
If there is a helmet out there that reduces concussion risk, it should be mandatory for all players, no questions asked, and i don't think anyone could criticize the NFL for doing so. But I'd be willing to bet that this the NFL's loophole for never having to pay a dime to ex-players in the future for brain conditions. If they have CTE or something and they try to blame the NFL, they can say, "well, there was this concussion reducing helmet that you had the opportunity to wear, and you chose not to. Sorry about your luck." Whereas if they made a helmet mandatory and the player comes down with CTE they can sue saying the NFL made me wear said helmet.
It's like in the fire department. As stupid as it sounds, they teach you how to lift heavy objects properly. So if you claim a back injury that's work related, the city isn't liable because they taught you to lift with your legs. Same thing if your hearing goes and you claim its work related from the loud sirens. They put earphones on the trucks, meaning if you don't wear them, it's your fault.
It's all in the wording. If the NFL makes concussion "reducing" helmets mandatory, they are probably good. But if they call them concussing "preventing", and a player suffers one, they'd be in trouble. Like our fire gear, it's fire "resistant" not fire "proof". At some point, you will get burned if you're not careful.