In 2015, the NFL introduced the Color Rush jersey concept to make a) Thursday night games more appealing, and b) more money out of a new batch of apparel. Since then, the New England Patriots wore their one-colored, blue-on-blue outfit two times: The team used it once in 2016, introducing it during a Thursday nighter against the Houston Texans, and brought the look back on a Sunday night game against the Atlanta Falcons last season.
The Patriots, who also wore a regular all-white look at one occasion in 2017, could not have used their Color Rush uniforms a second time last year even if they wanted to. Per NFL rules, teams were only allowed to wear their non-standard outfits a total of three times each year: alternate and throwback jerseys were limited to two games, while Color Rush was only to be worn once every single season.
After already changing the rules requiring teams to wear one-colored outfits on Thursdays earlier this offseason, however, the NFL decided to modify its uniform policy once more: As first reported by The MMQB’s Albert Breer, teams can now wear non-standard jerseys up to three times and no longer have to worry about the distinction between Color Rush and alternate/throwback variations.
This means that the Patriots could use their Color Rush outfits – one of the better ones in the NFL – three times in 2018. Or they could introduce new alternates to be worn on three different occasions. Or they could bring back a throwback uniform from the 1990s and wear it for each of their three November contests. The possibilities may not be endless but at least there is some flexibility now.
One thing that will not happen, though, is New England wearing its classic Pat Patriot outfit up to three times this year: With the rules still in place that teams have to use the same helmets and colors all season long, the team’s white throwback helmets and red uniforms will have to stay on the sidelines. October 21, 2012 will therefore remain the last time we saw the Patriots wear their classic look.