Fans who have been begging for the NFL to bring back alternate helmets need only wait one more year.
The NFL sent a memo to clubs Thursday announcing that it will allow teams to wear two different helmets beginning in the 2022 season, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Pro Football Talk first reported the news.
The NFL previously permitted teams only one set of helmets for safety reasons. The thought processes followed that it was safer for a player to be fitted with one helmet properly than to be shifting in-and-out of different headgear that it couldn't be certain was as safe.
In 2018, the NFL expanded the uniform policy to allow for more jersey options per club but kept the one helmet rule in place, which restricted some clubs' options.
The new rule loosens those restrictions, providing teams more freedoms.
The revised policy allows teams to utilize a second (alternate color) approved helmet to pair with their Alternate, Classic and/or Color Rush uniforms. All uses of alternate helmets must follow the set forth parameters:
- Clubs must obtain an entire new set of alternate color helmets for all players
- Alternate color helmets must be the same make, model and size as the applicable player's primary helmet
- Alternate color helmets must be made available to all players at the start of training camp and should be fit at the same time as the primary helmet
- Alternate color helmets must be worn in practice at a minimum during the week leading up to the game in which they will be used
Teams must inform the league office of their intent to use an alternate helmet in 2022 by no later than July 31, 2021. So, we'll know this year which teams plan to utilize throwback/alternate helmets in 2022.
Teams like the Buccaneers have eschewed their old creamsicle throwbacks because the helmets clash. Similar with the Eagles and their old kelly greens. The Patriots could bring back Pat Patriot on their helmets. And so on. Expect most teams to take advantage of the new rule on some level. That merchandise isn't going to sell itself, after all.
Fans have been clamoring for the NFL to allow teams to wear at least one alternate helmet. The new rule will do so. We just have to wait one more year.