Sunday, April 16, 2017

Last Players To Not Wear Facemask

By John Turney

In 1990s Don Daly's and Bob O'Donnell volume The Pro Football Chronicle reported that Jess Richardson was the last pro football lineman to no wear a facemask. It was reiterated by Helmet

Hall of Fame flanker Tommy McDonald was the last position player to go maskless.
1968 in his final season with the Browns

There have also been some players who were part-time positional players and full-time kickers or punters.
Bobby Joe Green

Pat Studstill
Lou Michaels wearing Bobby Layne's maskless helmet for kicking.
Garo Yepremian with the Lions

Wayne Rasmussen was a holder and defensive back who wore this just to hold

The last player, in our opinion, was Toni Fritsch in 1971. I remember photos from the 1972 NFL Publication Prolog that documented it:


  1. MLB players not wearing masks will soon go the way of these dinosaurs, as well. Another player hit with a 90-mph fastball in the face yesterday. It's foolish.
    Great article.

  2. The last player to " play" without a facemask was Wayne Rassmussen, who held for fg's maskless, throughout the 1971 season.
    Fritsch wore the no mask helmet only once on Nov 7 1971. the folliwibg week he had a one bar. After those two games Mike Clark returned to the line-up.