The Cincinnati Bengals have worn the same striped helmet in every game they've played for the past 40 years, but that will be changing this year.
For the first time in franchise history, the team will be wearing an alternate helmet, and they announced the new look Friday. Instead of wearing their standard orange helmet with black stripes for all 17 games this year, the Bengals will be rocking a white tiger helmet for at least one game in 2022.
Fans had been hoping all offseason that the team would unveil a new helmet, and their wishes came true, but with a small catch. The team didn't actually unveil the white tiger helmet Thursday. Instead, they confirmed that they would definitely be wearing the helmet at some point this season without actually sharing an image of it.
Here was the video with the announcement.
And here's a look at the helmet itself, courtesy of the Bengals' official website.
For the first time in Bengals’ franchise history, white will replace the primary orange color on the striped helmet that has been featured since 1981 in what will be Cincinnati’s alternate helmet this season. Team will announce games it will wear white helmets for next week. pic.twitter.com/jXCoGxUdMp— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2022
This will only be the third time in franchise history that the Bengals have worn a different helmet. During their expansion year in 1968, the team donned a helmet that simply said "Bengals" on the side, and that was what they wore for just over a decade before switching to the orange tiger stripes in 1981.
The Bengals' announcement likely won't be the last time this summer that we see an NFL team surprisingly unveil a new helmet. For the past 10 years, NFL teams were only allowed to wear one helmet, but that's no longer the case. The league rescinded its one-helmet rule in 2021 and when that happened, the NFL announced that teams would be free to wear an alternate helmet starting with the 2022 season, which paved the way for the Bengals to bring out the white tiger stripes this year.
Cincinnati is at least the eighth team this offseason that has unveiled a new helmet. According to UniWatch, there could be as many as 15 teams that end up wearing an alternate helmet for at least one game in 2022, so don't be surprised if we hear a few more announcements over the next few weeks.