A lot of NFL teams will have to scrap their plans of wearing throwback uniforms this season thanks to a new league-wide rule that prevents teams from using more than one helmet during a season.
Here’s an explanation from the official website of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had been planning on wearing their ‘creamsicle’ throwbacks (above) during Week 4:
“The league-wide guideline, which requires players to use the same helmet for all games during the season, was recently implemented based on the strong recommendation by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee as well as the Player Safety Advisory Panel. … Due to the new regulations, Buccaneer players will wear their standard pewter, red and white uniforms in place of the classic Florida orange, red and white throwback attire that had previously been scheduled.”
There also an added explanation on the NFL’s website:
“This offseason, we communicated a recommendation from the Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel to those teams planning to wear throwback uniforms for at least one game this season. They recommended that players no longer wear different helmets as part of a ‘throwback’ or ‘third’ uniform. … Teams may continue to wear throwback uniforms under league guidelines, but players must wear their regular helmets. The outside of the helmet can be modified by removing or replacing decals, as long as it does not affect the integrity of the helmet.”
The rule was put in place for player safety, but this has to come as bad news for fans of throwbacks and alternate uniforms. Teams like the Falcons, Patriots, Cowboys, and Redskins have been known to wear throwbacks at least once a year and rely on an alternate helmet to bring the look together.
If the NFL is so worried about different helmets affecting the safety of players heads, should we be concerned about college programs like Oregon that seem to wear a different helmet every single week?