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Reports: NFL approves alternate-color helmets beginning in 2022

The drought is over!

In a long-requested move, the NFL has approved a new policy allowing teams to use two different helmet designs during the season, according to a report from Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. The rule will begin to take effect in the 2022 season.

In recent years, alternate helmets had been banned, ostensibly for safety reasons. The NFL claimed that players would be less likely to suffer head injuries with a helmet that was “broken in” as opposed to a one-time-use helmet. That allowed some teams to make use of throwback designs through swappable decals, but it shut down the possibility of color-changing designs, like the iconic red charging buffalo design of the 1980-1990’s Buffalo Bills.

In order to alleviate the safety concerns, the NFL will require all alternate helmets to be the exact same make and model and size as the standard helmets, and requires those alternate helmets to be fitted and used in practice before the games begin.

This helmet rule could open up new uniform possibilities for the Bills. Of course, the Super Bowl Bills throwback uniform is top of mind, but what else could we see? Maybe the Bills could roll out their Color Rush all-red uniforms with a red helmet to match. They could even run back the (admittedly, not too great) navy and white uniforms from the 2002-2010 era.

Or, even though it would be a few years past the team’s 60th anniversary, the Bills could bring out the truest throwback, the Honolulu Blue and silver uniforms that were originally borrowed from the Detroit Lions when the franchise first started. Those uniforms featured a silver helmet with no logo, where a player’s number was printed instead. It would be quite the event—especially if they were playing against Detroit!

In the gallery below, we’ve gathered a number of iconic Bills players and uniforms from over the years. What combination do you want to see when this rule takes effect?