Seahawks fans who have been eagerly hoping they might someday get to see Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf and the rest of the current generation of players wear throwback uniforms once worn by the likes of Dave Krieg and Steve Largent should soon get their wish.
As confirmed by the league, the NFL informed teams Thursday that they can use two helmets for players beginning the 2022 season, scrapping the “one-helmet rule’’ that was implemented in 2013 as a safety measure. That rule was instituted with the thought that players might be more at risk if they were switching back and forth between helmets and using them before they were properly broken in. Protocols will be put in place to make sure the second, or alternate, helmet is properly broken in and tested before being used in a game.
The one-helmet rule is why the Seahawks have not worn throwback uniforms, or those that the team wore from the franchise’s inception in 1976 for the next few decades. Those uniforms featured a silver helmet as opposed to the current blue (a change made in 2002).
Repainting helmets during the season is not realistic, and the Seahawks did not want to wear throwback jerseys and not be able to complete the look with the proper helmet (though the Seahawks have been able to incorporate their blue helmets into other alternate uniforms, such as their Wolf Grey look, or the “action green” Color Rush uni). Many teams, such as the Rams, have the same base colors in their old and new helmets and have been able to replicate their old helmets just by switching out logos.
In a tweet, the NFL stated that teams will have to inform the league by July 31, 2021 if they intend to use an alternate helmet for the 2022 season.
As stated in a memo that became public, teams will have to acquire an entire set of alternate color helmets for players that are to the exact specifications of their primary helmet. The helmets also must be worn in practice the week they will be used in a game to help assure they are fitting properly.
The league also was able to change the policy without taking a vote, though it was thought that few were against the switch. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians was a vocal proponent of allowing an alternate helmet, so that the Bucs, who entered the NFL in 1976 the same year as the Seahawks, could also wear a throwback look featuring a white helmet.
Various Seahawks players have voiced their desire to wear throwbacks on Twitter and other social-media platforms.
They may have to wait a year. But in 2022 they should get their wish.