After a 10-year hiatus, the New England Patriots’ throwbacks will finally make a comeback next season. As was revealed by the Patriots Hall of Fame on Friday, the team is expected to wear its red “Pat Patriot” jerseys at one point next year.
New England was prohibited from using its classic look following a rule change in 2013. Since then, teams were only allowed to use one set of helmets throughout a season. Changes between two different-colored ones therefore became prohibited, bringing an end to throwback looks like the one worn by the Patriots.
The rule was introduced as a concussion countermeasure, but it was modified earlier this year to allow teams to wear two different sets of helmets starting in 2022. This will allow the (re)introduction of alternate looks such as throwbacks, so long as all proper safety protocols are followed and players will have ample opportunity to break in the other helmets during practice.
While there was some speculation during the offseason whether or not the Patriots would indeed be able to bring back their red-and-white jerseys as early as 2022, it seems as if they have met all of the league’s requirements to do so. “Pat Patriot” should therefore be expected back at one point next season.
The Patriots wore the red-and-white look from their inaugural season in 1960 until a design overhaul of 1993: Pat Patriot was replaced by the so-called “Flying Elvis” that has graced the team’s helmets ever since; the color scheme initially changed to blue-and-silver before another modernization ahead of the 2000 season. Between 2000 and 2019, New England used navy and silver as the main colors and basis for its uniform.
The organization made another change last year, moving to an all-blue look that was first introduced as a NFL Color Rush design in 2016.
The throwbacks, meanwhile, reappeared only now and then since the original change in the 90s: the Patriots wore them three times during the 1994 season and once in 2002, before returning them as a regular third outfit between 2009 and 2012.