While it’s unclear how many teams will take advantage of the NFL’s relaxed helmet rules next season, you can count the New England Patriots among them.
That is according to the Patriots Hall of Fame’s verified Twitter account, which told an inquiring fan that New England’s red throwback jerseys are returning in 2022.
The Patriots haven’t been able to wear their throwback uniforms – which included a white helmet with “Pat Patriot” on the sides – for several years now due to the NFL’s one-helmet rule, which was implemented ahead of the 2013 season.
New England initially wore red jerseys with white helmets and pants at home from its inaugural season in 1960, when the franchise was known as the Boston Patriots, until a redesign in 1993.
The team began wearing royal blue jerseys with silver helmets and pants that season, with “Pat Patriot” being scrapped for “Flying Elvis.” The Patriots then moved to navy blue in 2000, a look that became associated with the most successful era in franchise history, as New England won six Super Bowl titles between 2002-19.
That said, the Patriots didn’t completely get rid of “Pat Patriot,” as they wore the road version of their throwback uniforms three times in 1994 and the home version once in 2002 on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions.
New England then brought the throwback uniform back as a regular alternate in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the American Football League. The Patriots wore the red home jersey three times that season and white road jersey once.
The red jersey appeared a total of four additional times from 2010-12 before the one-helmet rule took effect, with the franchise going 9-3 in the throwback threads.
Per NFL rules, New England will now be able to wear the throwback uniforms up to three times each season.
Photo courtesy of @NFL on Twitter.