Persistence Pays Off, Alternate Helmets Will Return in 2022

Fans try to stay dry as they check out the oversized team helmets at the NFL Draft Experience on Thursday April 29, 2021. Draft 7

The NFL provided some good news of sorts to its fans in a memo released on Thursday. Per Pro Football Talk and NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, teams will be allowed to wear a maximum of two different helmets starting with the 2022 season.

However, there was a major catalyst reason before as to why teams were only allowed to wear one helmet. “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 as safe.” This news is not the first announcement regarding modifications to a team’s helmet and uniform combination. Fans who enjoy seeing a team wear alternative jerseys did see a relax on the vice grip of restrictions a couple of years back.

Fans have been focused on obtaining different styled helmets. “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.” While this will provide fans with more excitement for what jersey/helmet combination teams can wear, there have to be some ground rules that the team meets for alternate helmets to be used. Teams will have the option, but it will be important to meet the parameters for the use of alternate helmets first.

There Are Parameters

As the article notes, “All use 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”

As the excitement continues to build surrounding the news, there is also pressure to evaluate and make a decision. A deadline is in place regarding whether teams will use a secondary helmet next season. Per the report, “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.”

For a few years before the helmet rule went into place in the mid-2010s, some NFL teams would incorporate an alternate helmet with their throwback jerseys. So this rule, in a way, brings back the return of something commonplace and a fan favorite in the league.

“Teams like the Buccaneers have eschewed their old creamsicle throwbacks because the helmets clash. Similar to 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.”

The fan’s efforts have paid off and given the NFL the decision to allow for alternate helmets. Soon.