Why player safety is sending certain NFL uniforms into extinction
Take a good, long look at the uniforms below because chances are you'll never see them on an NFL field again.
At the behest of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Panel, the league has passed a new rule limiting teams to the use of one helmet per season. The thinking is that wearing the same lid week after week better protects a player's head, as opposed to changing out the helmet multiple times per season.
Teams are free to dress however they want in their pants, jerseys and helmet decals - so presumably the Buccaneers could presumably still go with the creamsicle throwback tops paired with pewter helmets if the fashion police don't arrest them first - only the actual lid has to remain the same. That means teams the Rams, Bears, Lions and other teams whose throwback helmets are the same color as their regular lids (who only require an alteration or removal of the current decals to pull off an authentic throwback loook) can still proceed as usual while it's time to either get creative or shelve the throwbacks indefinitely for the franchises pictured above.
This raises a question much larger than football aesthetics, though. Is this move just window dressing, another atttempt by the NFL to protect the shield from a wave of liability lawsuits, or is the NFL actually making the right move here? Are players really better served by wearing the same helmet each and every game day and, if so, are schools like Oregon and Oklahoma State that wear a handful of different lids each Saturday unwittingly putting their players at additional risk?