NFL reportedly will repeal helmet shell rule, allowing Patriots to wear throwback uniforms

The "Pat Patriot" throwbacks are popular among fans.

The New England Patriots defenders reacts after sacking Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets on October 21, 2012. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Patriots might have a chance to bring back one of their popular throwback uniforms, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Per Schefter, the NFL will repeal its “One Shell Rule” which was implemented in 2013. The NFL believed that a broken-in helmet would protect players from head injuries better than new helmets — a concern which reportedly has eased over the years. According to CBS Sports, the rule will be phased out following the 2021 season. Teams will be allowed to add another helmet to their rotation in 2022.

The Patriots hinted that Pat Patriot uniforms — which feature a white helmet — might return soon last year, saying in a release that “we recognize that fans also have an affinity for the red ‘throwback’ uniform and we hope to incorporate that into our uniform rotation in the future.”

Pat the Patriot — depicted as a soldier in the American Revolution crouching to snap a football — was the Patriots’ official logo until 1993. He was originally created by then-Boston Globe cartoonist Phil Bissell in 1960.


Per ESPN, when teams add a uniform next season, both the primary and alternate helmets must be the same make, model and size. The alternate helmets must be worn in practice the week of the game they will be used.

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