The NFL is expanding its uniform policy to allow a third alternative helmet design

Two years after approving alternate helmet designs to return to the NFL, the league is expanding its uniform policy to allow a third helmet to be added to teams' uniform wardrobes, the league announced Wednesday in a memo sent to clubs.

The NFL approved an adjustment to the uniform policy in 2021 to allow replacement helmets through the 2022 season, a change from the “one-shell” rule that had been in place for a decade. Now, after further evaluating the uniform policy as part of its continued focus on player health and safety, the league has further expanded the policy to allow teams to pursue another helmet design.

A third helmet option is offered to teams undergoing the redesign process for the 2024 season, and will be available to all teams for the 2025 season. Teams must notify the league office of their intent to use alternate color helmets for the 2025 season after May 1, 2024.

The second and third helmets, also known as “alternate color helmets”, may only be worn in one of the club's approved optional uniforms (classic, alternate and/or color rush). Additionally, if an alternate color helmet is paired with a classic uniform, the helmet colors and designs must be historically compatible.

All uses of alternate color helmets shall be subject to the following requirements:

  • Clubs should get new alternate color helmets for all players
  • Alternate color helmets must be the same make, model and size as the matching player
    Primary helmet
  • Alternate color helmets should be available to all players at the start of training camp
    And the primary helmet should fit at the same time
  • Alternate color helmets must be worn at least the week before the week
    Up to the game in which they are used.

These conditions are in place to maintain the health and safety of players, ensuring that alternate color helmets fit properly and that players have adequate time to fit them in before wearing them during a game.

Thirteen teams wore alternate helmets in 2022, and several teams added alternate looks for the 2023 season.

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