The Arizona Cardinals have unveiled their alternate black helmet, to be worn with both the club’s black alternate jersey options during the 2022 season.
The Cardinals helmet is black with a black facemask, a familiar setup amongst alternate helmets thus far BUT the Cards’ helmet comes with something a little extra — little red dots mixed into the black shell paint of the helmet.
“The look of this helmet is so incredibly sharp and something I know that both our players and fans will absolutely love,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in the press release. “We are excited to showcase them this season, especially on a national stage.”
Arizona will wear the new lids with their black alternate jerseys (the ones with the white numbers) AND their black ColorRush jerseys (the ones with the red numbers). They’ll be worn for three games, once during the preseason (August 21 with the alternate black white-numbered jersey) and twice during the regular season (October 9 with the alternate black jersey, and October 20 with the black red-numbered ColorRush jersey).
“I see the red sparkles in there — I think that’s the best part of it,” Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker said to AZCardinals.com. “It looks black, but it has like a chrome-ish red look; those are going to look real clean. Play good, look good, feel good for sure.”
This will be the first time the Cardinals franchise has worn a helmet colour other than white since 1958, when the then-Chicago Cardinals wore a red helmet during a preseason game. The white-helmet-only run has lasted longer than two team names: both the St. Louis Cardinals and Phoenix Cardinals names were used for a shorter timespan than the team wearing exclusively white shells. For the decade before 1958, the Cardinals wore both red and white helmets, but the franchise never wore black, not until August 21, 2022.
The story on AZCardinals.com sheds some light on the alternate helmet process in the NFL this season, such as saying the league only permits alternate helmets to be worn with alternate uniforms (someone tell the Carolina Panthers, quick) and that teams must practice while wearing their alternate helmet in the week leading up to their in-game use.
The Cardinals join the Chicago Bears in unveiling new alternate helmets for the upcoming 2022 season; both teams are just the latest in a quickly expanding group of NFL teams to introduce a secondary alternate helmet. The league’s lifting of the “one-helmet rule” has seen a bevy of new lids for football clubs this season, including black helmets for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers; throwback helmets for the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots and many others (complete list here).