NFL hasn’t changed its one-helmet rule

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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.

31 responses to “NFL hasn’t changed its one-helmet rule

  1. The one helmet rule doesn’t make sense. What about players that need to change helmets for other reasons? What about players that decide to change the style of Riddell helmet they wear? Or players who decide to switch from Riddell to Schutt? What about players who are cut by one team and signed by another? Are they any less safe because of two different helmets?

    This is a nonsensical rule that the NFL put in place to make it look like they’re doing something, but in reality it in no way makes the players any more or less safe.

  2. dynastydriven says:
    Aug 3, 2016 7:29 PM
    It’s for concussion reasons. Having the same helmet year round apparently helps in preventing them.

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    If that were true the NFL would require any of the hundred+ players who switch teams during the season to have the same helmet that is repainted and given new decals at each new stop. That’s not the case though.

    A serious question for the NFL: Do Oregon Ducks players suffer concussions at a higher rate than other NCAA teams? The Ducks wear 4 or 5 different helmets a year, it shouldn’t be hard to prove if they have a higher concussion rate than teams that use one helmet per season, such as USC or Alabama.

  3. first off the science is still out on weather concussions are real or not. secondly, i think players would be alot safer if they didnt wear helmets. these players are a bunch of millenials who have been sheltered theyre entire lifes. a helmet is just another form of sheltering. take the lids off and let the guys learn to fend for themselfs out there. may the strongest skull survive!

  4. The whole Color Rush thing is Stupid, just keep on ruining things all because of greedy people

  5. From what I recall the single helmet rule came about more because of the fitting process that players go through that certifies the individual helmet to the player for safety and legal reasons.

    With the vast number of former players suing the NFL over concussions, legally it was a smart thing to do. Especially with the amount of hair that some players sport today, it has to effect the helmet fit.

  6. “Color Rush” is a marketing ploy gone terribly wrong.
    It’s idiotic and ludicrous and a lot of other things.
    Lose it quickly.

  7. Of course they wont change that rule, there’s no $$$ in it for the NFL. New Jersey promote new jersey sales. New helmets ahhhhhhh not so much. Haven’t seen people walking the streets wearing their teams helmets. Why can’t the NFL and their teams buy 2 or 3 of the same “safety” helmets and have them painted appropriately for current, throwback and color rush

  8. This is such a stupid rule. So were supposed to believe that a pro equipment staff cannot fit a helmet properly more than once a year?

  9. Color Rush is an abomination to the eyes and sensibilities football fans. They look ridiculous and have no value add.

    Disco-wear look better than this horrid stuff.

  10. I kinda like Color Rush, it’s nice to see something different from time to time. I’m a traditionalist but sometimes a once or twice game a year isn’t a terrible way to spice things up a bit.

  11. I hate this rule because it destroyed our throwback game here in Tampa Bay. The fans loved when the Bucs came out with the orange jerseys and the Bucco Bruce helmet.

    This was a big event for the Bucs. It sucks because it was fun and allowed the Bucs to keep that vintage look around.

    I am sure the same goes for the Pats as well with their white helmet and red jerseys. The fans love tradition and nostalgia. Thanks for ruining that NFL.

  12. The ‘safety’ reason is bull. It’s all about keeping the look of the helmet the same because the league office has an outdated thought process that people won’t instantly recognize the helmets if a team has more than one. Fans aren’t stupid!

    The NFL is slow to change so I would like to see them budge a little and allow 2 helmets per team. Then it’s up to the team. They can stick with one if they want. The second could just be a different color, or a throwback.

    Not a hassle at all to size up and get game ready a second helmet.

  13. milehighmagik7 says:
    Aug 3, 2016 8:56 PM
    Of course they wont change that rule, there’s no $$$ in it for the NFL. New Jersey promote new jersey sales. New helmets ahhhhhhh not so much. Haven’t seen people walking the streets wearing their teams helmets. Why can’t the NFL and their teams buy 2 or 3 of the same “safety” helmets and have them painted appropriately for current, throwback and color rush Because that would make too much sense to an idiot like Goodell

  14. Why not just wear your home, or away jersey, and use the helmet that your team always wears? Quit playing barbie with these guys.

    Honestly the single only reason a team should have any sort of deviation from their uniforms is if their uniforms are too similar to the opponents uniforms, and this would be a pant color change, and the purpose really being for the Quarterback to be able to use his peripheral vision in knowing where his guys are while he is busy looking at the defense. Being a former QB it makes a huge difference and I would lobby that for that singular reason.

  15. The one helmet rule must not apply to throwbacks because i believe a couple teams change helmets completely when those alternates are worn. The steelers have an all yellow helmet they rock with a black jersey with yellow numbers. They havent worn it since the current bumble bee alternates were put in.

  16. Unless the rule has been implemented since they last wore them, I believe the Cowboys wear a white (i.e. different, more than one) helmet when they wear their throwback uniforms. I think the Jets, Packers, Bears and others also have different helmets that go with their throwback uniforms.

  17. You can’t change helmets, but you don’t have to wear mouth guards (right or wrong, sport mouth guards market themselves as essential to prevent concussions).

    Makes sense.

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