The expanded use of the “Color Rush” program in 2016 has sparked plenty of speculation regarding the looks that teams will trot out for Thursday games. The chatter has included the possibility of college-style alternate helmets.
That won’t be happening, because the league has retained its rule that requires each player to wear only one helmet per year. The rule was adopted for safety reasons several years ago.
The helmets could be repainted, in theory. But this isn’t a random grade-school team from the ’70s where the coach rattles the ball in a can of spray paint before misting a fresh coat on each player’s flimsy helmet with single-bar mask (the good news is that the paint fumes countered the second-hand smoke). Getting NFL helmets to look the right way isn’t a simple process, and with the “Color Rush” games coming on Thursdays and teams typically playing the preceding Sunday, there simply won’t be time to do it the right way.
So while the “Color Rush” jerseys and pants may be interesting (or not) in appearance, the NFL won’t be adopting an approach to headgear that will spark the same kind of “Hey, who in the hell am I watching?” confusion that confronts plenty of fans surfing through college games every Saturday in the fall.