The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't worn their famous Creamsicle uniforms in a game since 2012, but that's something that could be changing in the near future after the NFL decided to rescind its one-helmet rule on Thursday.
The league sent out a memo, which was obtained by CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones, and in that memo, the NFL let teams know that the one-helmet rule will be phased out following the 2021 season. Under the new rule, teams can add a second helmet option starting in 2022, which means any team that wants to take advantage of the new rule can add an alternate color. Any team that wants to add a second helmet will have to make that decision by July 31 of this year even though they wouldn't be wearing it until 2022.
The one-helmet rule was originally put into place back in 2013 as a way to improve player safety. The NFL's belief was that a worn-in helmet is safer for players to wear than a brand new one that hasn't yet conformed to their head.
The Buccaneers led the charge on this rule change and have been pushing for it for nearly two years. At the owners meetings back in March, Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer made it clear that one of his priorities going forward was to get the rule changed.
"On the throwbacks we're constantly on the league's doorstep trying to get them to move so we can wear our throwbacks," Glazer said. "We're not there yet. But there are discussions going on and hopefully at some point in the future that will happen. I know how popular they are with our fans."
With the new rule in place, this means Tampa Bay will be able to bring back its Creamsicle look. The Buccaneers used to wear their Creamsicle throwbacks all the time, but decided to stop in 2013 after the NFL passed its one-helmet rule. The Buccaneers used to wear a white helmet with their Creamsicle uniforms, but after the team switched to a pewter helmet, they stopped wearing the Creamsicle jersey because they didn't feel like it matched the pewter helmets. (You can see both helmets below.)
Under the new rule, the Patriots will be able to put Pat Patriot back on their helmet. (The Patriots like to put Pat on a white helmet, which is an issue, because the team currently wears a silver helmet.)
The Eagles would be able to bring back their Kelly green helmets. (The team currently wears a midnight green helmet.)
The Broncos could switch out their dark blue helmets and start wearing baby blue once in a while.
The rule change will also give the Seahawks the option of wearing their silver helmet a few times per season.
Another team that could benefit from the rule change is the Falcons, who will now have the option to wear their old red helmet.
Speaking of red helmets, the Bills will also have the option to wear their throwback.
The Cowboys could also bring back their popular Thanksgiving throwbacks.
With the new rule, the Titans will also have the option of wearing a throwback Oilers uniform.
The new helmet rule could also pave the way for other teams that don't have a throwback helmet to come up with an alternate look. For instance, the Bengals could start wearing white helmets with their white uniforms.
That's just a small sample of teams that could be wearing a new helmet in 2022 with the NFL's rule change.