A football facemask that provides additional full face coverage, primarily through the addition of extra horizontal and vertical bars. The “birdcage” style helmet is typically worn by linemen, who expect more contact at the line of scrimmage.
“Birdcage” style facemasks are not typical or commonly used at any level of football and are usually worn as a reaction to facial injury in past play. Like foam padding and other modifications to the football helmet, the primary purpose of the birdcage is for a player’s individual safety. Notable players who have donned a birdcage include the Chargers’ Harry Swayne, the Eagles’ Charlie Smith, and the Giants’ Chris Canty and Justin Tuck. It is also sometimes referred to as a “cage-style” facemask.