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NFL to Allow Teams to Use Alternate-Color Helmets Again Starting in 2022

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 07: Oversized football helmets are seen outside the stadium before Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's a good day for fans of throwback NFL uniforms. 

The NFL released a memo Thursday saying it would allow teams to wear alternate helmets starting in the 2022 season:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Here is the memo: https://t.co/rBlXYEoazC https://t.co/DF6ulvTjD3

Per the memo, teams will be allowed to incorporate their second helmet when wearing "classic, alternate or Color Rush uniforms," provided that those helmets are the same "make, model and size" as the primary helmet, players are provided the alternative helmet and sized at the same time they receive the primary option and they must be worn during the week of practice leading up to the game they'll be worn during.

Player safety restrictions had previously limited teams to just one helmet. But now some truly classic designs will be back on the table for teams:

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

The NFL approved alternate helmets for teams wearing throwback uniforms starting in 2022, per @adamschefter Who else do you wanna see? 👀 https://t.co/QD3CVdJKBX

PFF @PFF

NFL approved alternate helmets today for teams wearing throwback uniforms starting in 2022, per @AdamSchefter Who has the best throwback helmets of all time? https://t.co/UC4vbTKvCF

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Front Office Sports @FOS

The NFL has informed teams that they will be allowed to use alternate-color helmets again, starting in 2022 👀 https://t.co/a0MfvsC8GN

It isn't the only helmet news of the week. The NFL also announced Monday that it was instituting the NFL Helmet Challenge, a "multi-year innovation challenge aimed at stimulating the development of a new helmet that outperforms any model currently available to NFL players." 

The NFL put together a panel of professors, doctors, engineers, former players and league equipment managers to judge the incoming designs, with an award of $1 million to the winner of the challenge.

"The NFL Helmet Challenge represents the next frontier in helmet innovation that the league has been working toward for some time," the head of the NFL's engineering committee, Dr. Jeff Crandall, said in the press release. "A 15 percent improvement in helmet performance would be approximately five times greater than the average improvement we see year over year and would be a notable improvement for the industry and for players."  

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