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NFL to allow alternate-color helmets for 2022; will Packers consider them for new throwbacks?

If Green Bay does plan to wear a differently-colored helmet with their new alternate uniform, they will have to wait a year to implement the headgear.

San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Sometime this summer, the Green Bay Packers will release a new alternate uniform set that they will begin wearing during the 2021 season. However, a new change by the NFL would give the team some more options to get creative with that uniform’s design — but only starting next season in 2022.

In a memo to teams obtained by Pro Football Talk, the NFL has informed teams that they may resume wearing helmets of two different colors in 2022. This changes a rule the league put into place for the 2014 season, when it decreed that players could only wear a single helmet all season for player safety purposes. The practical effect of that change was that teams were limited to only wearing helmets of their primary color.

That all changes in 2022, however, with the league expanding the rule to allow each player to have two helmets of different colors, provided that both are the same model and are fit-tested at the same time. The question now for the Packers is whether they will take advantage of the added flexibility for their new throwback uniform design.

The Acme Packers throwbacks that the Packers wore from 2010 through 2014 did feature helmets of a different color, at least in the years before the 2014 rule change. Those uniforms had brown helmets with gray facemasks, which were intended to simulate the leather helmets that the team wore during the 1929 season, which the uniforms emulated. (See the header photo for an example.) However, after the rule change for 2014, the team wore their standard plain gold helmets with green facemasks, simply removing the “G” and center stripe stickers. The facemask caused an unpleasant clash with the rest of the uniform, which consisted of a blue primary color on the jersey with gold accents and brown pants.

The Packers’ more recent alternate uniforms, which they wore for one game per year from 2015 to 2019, stuck with the gold helmets and green facemasks. That perpetuated the same chromatic dissonance against another blue-and-gold jersey, that one inspired by the team’s 1940s-era uniforms.

In recent months, Packers team president Mark Murphy has indicated that the reveal of the 2021 throwbacks will take place sometime before the season begins, and that some form of green will be a part of the color scheme. A good bet for the reveal is at the organization’s annual Shareholders Meeting, which this summer is scheduled for July 26th. Whether the team will come up with a design that can accommodate the gold helmet in 2021 and a different color in 2022 and beyond remains to be seen.

However, it is notable that since the NFL moved from leather helmets to harder materials, the Packers’ primary helmet color has always been the same bright yellow as it is today. Just once, under Ron Wolf in the early 1990s, the team considered moving to a metallic gold color, but leadership chose not to make the change in part thanks to the modeling skills of one Ted Thompson.

If the Packers do choose to get crazy in 2022 and play with the colors on their classic helmet, they could go with a green base instead of the traditional yellow. That lid could be entirely solid without a logo, or it could feature the standard green G outlined in yellow, which is the logo’s presentation any time it is presented on a green background. Perhaps a white helmet could be in order instead if the team decides to participate in Color Rush games once again with a monochromatic look. (That would hardly be groundbreaking within the state, as the Wisconsin Badgers’ uniforms feature a white-bodied helmet and their road uniforms have white jerseys and pants.)

Whatever the Packers decide to do starting in 2022, expect some indication of the team’s plans for future helmet designs to come along with their new throwbacks when those uniforms are announced later on in the summer of 2021.