he New England Patriots could look a little different on the field in 2022.
It has long been speculated that the Patriots’ classic “Pat Patriot” uniforms could be making a return. The Patriots Hall of Fame tweeted that the red throwback jerseys would be making a return in 2022 before the start of the new year.
But there were some concerns if this would still be the case as multiple teams have delayed the return of their throwback jersey due to supply chain issues. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles announced they would wait until 2023 due to supply chain shortages.
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Fans of the red jerseys received some good news via Jalen Mills’ Instagram. Mike D’Abate from Pats Country of Sports illustrated was the first to notice the post.
The picture of the helmet appears to be in the Patriots’ facility as the team has begun voluntary offseason workouts. Fans will also notice the tag through the ear hole of the helmet.
When Was The Last Time New England Wore These Uniforms?
The last time that the Patriots wore these uniforms was over 10 years ago. New England wore red as a throwback look for the first time in 2002 during a Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions. Pat Patriot didn’t return until 2009 and the final game with the red jerseys was in 2010 in an October game against who else but the Lions.
New England brought back the jerseys to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the AFL.
While not worn since then, the red jerseys weren’t officially out of commission until 2012. In 2013 a new NFL rule required one helmet color per season. This effectively removed some throwback jerseys from being used and had fans itching for their return. The rule was revoked in 2022.
In a memo to teams this summer, the NFL allowed teams to use alternate helmets again as early as 2022 if they notified the league by July 31. According to Pro Football Talk, the June 24 memo also stated that “the notice date for 2022 uniform changes has passed” and that the only alternate uniforms allowed in 2022 would be “those previously approved by the League Office.”
This allows for teams to be able to wear throwback uniforms that feature multiple colors on the helmet. Multiple teams including the Patriots were excited and started working on bringing the throwbacks back to the field.
When Could Fans Get a First Look?
The NFL Draft taking place at the end of April is usually a time for teams to show off new uniforms. When the Patriots unveiled their new uniforms in 2020, they did one week prior to the draft.
Another optimal launch date for New England would be when the 2022 NFL schedule is released. The league announced on Thursday that the entire schedule will be released on May 12.
The return of the throwback jerseys will serve as an ushering in of a new era for the Patriots. With Mac Jones under center and leading New England’s offense, it seems like a perfect time to bring the uniforms back.