The NFL season is finally upon us as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs play host to the Houston Texans on Thursday evening (8:20 p.m. on NBC).
With that, we’ve compiled a list of every uniform and logo change that took place across the league this offseason. But before we get into the team-by-team breakdown, it’s worth noting the league as a whole will look different thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and social justice issues that plague the country.
Players now have the option of wearing an Oakley Splash Shield that extends across the entire facemask to mitigate the spread of the virus on the field of play. While it’s not mandated, medical experts encourage the use of the equipment, which is similar to the visors many players already wear but includes small openings for breathability that do not allow for the direct transmission of droplets.
Postgame jersey swaps are also no longer permitted in the interest of social distancing, but players can mail them to someone on the other team after the contact tracing device has been removed and they’ve been washed through a partnership with Tide. The NFL has also recommended that players wear face coverings on the sidelines, though it’s only required by local regulations in Buffalo and San Francisco.
As of Sept. 10, twenty-five of the NFL’s thirty-two teams have announced they will not have fans in attendance for at least their first game. Two teams have yet to share their plans, while five others have committed to a limited capacity. That includes tonight’s game between the Chiefs and Texans, which will have a capacity of 16,046 – a far cry from the 76,416 fans that typically fill Arrowhead Stadium each week throughout the fall.
As for social justice initiatives, the NFL will allow players to wear the name of a victim of police violence and systemic racism or a slogan on their back helmet bumper. The available slogans include “Black Lives Matter,” “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All Of Us” or “End Racism,” with the last two also stencilled behind the end zone, similar to the “Crucial Catch” and “Salute to Service” campaigns.
The league will also play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is considered the black national anthem, before “The Star-Spangled Banner” at each Week 1 game. It is expected that many players and coaches will kneel during the latter.
So now that we’ve set the stage, let’s dive head first into our comprehensive list of team-by-team changes for the 2020-21 NFL season!
The Falcons unveiled new uniforms in April that prominently feature the city abbreviation across the chest, a new number font that matches the franchise’s updated wordmark and a matte black helmet with an oversized logo and chrome facemask. The team also introduced a new red-to-black gradient alternate uniform and announced the 1966 throwback will remain in the rotation.
The Ravens will commemorate their 25th season with a special logo, though it will not be worn as a jersey patch or helmet decal.
The Bills recently announced their stadium in Orchard Park, New York, will temporarily go by the generic moniker of Bills Stadium until a new sponsor is found. The previous naming rights holder, New Era Cap Co., asked the team to be released from their contract this summer due to financial issues associated with the pandemic.
The Bengals have not made any changes to their uniforms, but are scheduled to wear their Color Rush set twice this season: Nov. 1 against the Tennessee Titans and Nov. 29 against the New York Giants.
The Browns unveiled new uniforms this offseason that effectively wipe out the franchise’s previous update and reintroduces the traditional striping pattern worn by greats like Jim Brown, Paul Warfield and Webster Slaughter. It also includes new number font that matches the team’s wordmark. The only thing that remains from the previous set is the helmet, which includes a statin finish and brown facemask, though the carbon fibre pattern in the stripe has been removed.
The Cowboys are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and will wear a special uniform patch to mark the occasion. The patch – which will be displayed on the left shoulder – features a white helmet with a blue star on the side, two blue stripes down the middle and a gray two-bar facemask. The Cowboys wore this design from 1960 through the 1964 preseason and as a throwback from 2004 until the NFL implemented its one-helmet rule in 2013.
The Broncos are among the handful of teams that announce their uniform schedule before the season starts, and the weekly breakdown shows they’ll wear their Color Rush set in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills.
Safety Tracy Walker told reporters he will wear the name of his cousin, Ahmaud Arbery, on his back helmet bumper. Arbery, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by three white men while jogging near his home in Georgia in February.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers will wear a helmet decal this season in honor of Hall of Fame defensive end Willie Davis, who passed away in April. Davis, who played 10 seasons in Green Bay, won five NFL championships – including the first two Super Bowls – and was the first African-American to be named captain in team history in 1965. He was a five-time All-Pro selection (1962, 1964-67) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Colts made a number of subtle changes to their uniforms this offseason, which includes updating their number font and wordmarks and adding a new tertiary colour, Anvil Black, to the Nike Swoosh on their road set. The team also introduced a new secondary logo, which can be seen on the inside of the back collar, and adjusted the helmet logo to match the primary design.
Tight end Tyler Eifert will honour former St. Louis police captain David Dorn on the back of his helmet this season. Dorn, who retired in 2007 after 38 years of service, was shot and killed in June while responding to a burglary at his friend’s pawn shop.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
The Raiders will celebrate their first season in Las Vegas with a uniform patch that notably features the Nevada state outline, the team’s primary logo, the facade of Allegiant Stadium and the star from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, as well as “Inaugural Season Las Vegas 2020.” The yard line numbers on their new grass field will match their jersey font, as well.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Chargers unveiled a sleeker logo and new uniforms in April, marking their first update since they moved from San Diego. The home and road uniforms are completely devoid of navy blue and feature a simplified lightning bolt design on the shoulders and pants. The team also introduced a new number font that pulls inspiration from the car culture of Los Angeles and an all-navy Color Rush uniform that – interestingly – lacks powder blue.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
To correspond with the opening of SoFi Stadium, the Rams unveiled new logos and uniforms this offseason that seemingly blend the franchise’s history with modern design.
The royal blue home uniform features gold horns on the sleeves and a custom number font based on the curvature and separation of the horn in the new primary logo, while the bone-coloured road uniform was inspired by the colour of a ram’s horn and the sands of Los Angeles and is the first of its kind in the NFL. The helmet, meanwhile, features a metallic finish and gold horns and finally colour matches the rest of the uniform, unlike the mismatched throwback set the team wore at home the last few seasons.
The Dolphins will wear a patch during the upcoming season in honour of legendary head coach Don Shula, who passed away in May at age 90. The hexagonal patch will feature Shula’s last name and “347” to indicate his all-time wins, which are the most in NFL history and includes two Super Bowl victories and the league’s only perfect season in 1972.
The Vikings are celebrating their 60th season with a commemorative logo that will be simplified for use as a helmet decal. Both iterations include the team’s primary logo and the No. 60 in Minnesota’s custom two-digit font, though the digital application also includes the team name and the year the franchise was established.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots unveiled new uniforms in April that are essentially a promotion of their popular all-blue Color Rush set that featured UCLA stripes on the shoulders. The letter and number fonts were slightly modified, while new red, white and blue socks were added to the fold.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints announced they’re adding their team name to the front bumper and city name on the back bumper of their helmets, leaving the Chiefs and the Washington Football Team as the only teams with blank bumpers.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants are set to wear their all-white Color Rush set for their Monday Night Football matchup with the Buccaneers on Nov. 2. The team also updated the end zone design at MetLife Stadium, replacing the NFC logo with a second “NY” logo.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Buccaneers unveiled new uniforms in April that harken back to their win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII and also introduced an all-pewter Color Rush set into the rotation. Tampa Bay also fixed a minor issue with its secondary logo and returned to darker shades of red and orange, though the pewter remains the same.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
The team formerly known as the Redskins retired its controversial nickname and logo in July amid pressure from corporate sponsors and announced it will temporarily go by the Washington Football Team until a new nickname can be determined.
The franchise will continue to use a burgundy and gold color scheme, but removed the logo and stripes from the helmet and replaced them with the player’s jersey number in gold. The wordmark on the chest was also removed in favor of the city name, which will also be displayed in the end zone at FedEx Field.
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