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NFL Will Legalize 'Pat Patriot' Throwback Helmet ... But Not Until 2022

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- For football fans who enjoy a good throwback look, it's time to get excited. But it's also time to be patient.

The NFL will at long last get rid of its rule requiring players to wear the same helmets all season long, as reported by Pro Football Talk. As such, teams will be able to utilize different helmets to complete their throwback looks when desired.

This is big news in New England, as the Patriots have been unable to don their old red jerseys with white helmets since the rule was put into place after the 2012 season.

The team wore the red throwbacks beginning in 2009, part of the league's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the AFL. The look stuck around for several seasons and appeared in some big games along the way. Considering the Patriots switched to full-time jerseys that are essentially blue and white versions of that red jersey, and considering the team has said it "hopes" to bring back the throwback, it seems safe to assume the team will welcome this change with some throwback looks beginning in 2022.

But that throwback look -- along with the Buccaneers' "Creamsicle" get-ups -- went by the wayside when the league decided to enforce the rule against different helmets in the name of player safety. (Can you imagine if Tom Brady's return to Foxboro featured the Creamsicles vs Pat Patriot? Sure there is a bit of a color clash there but the imagery would be magnificent.)

LeGarrette Blount
LeGarrette Blount in a "Creamsicle" Buccaneers throwback in 2010. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Tom Brady
Tom Brady in the throwback Patriots uniform in 2010 vs. the Vikings. (Photo by Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

There have always been some flaws in that logic, just as there is a hole or two in the idea that the practice of using multiple helmets will become safe in 2022 but is not quite safe yet in 2021. But nevertheless, a change is coming, and some beautiful throwbacks will be gracing your TV screens before you know it.

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