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Blackout: Cardinals Reveal Alternate Helmets For 2022

Team will don new look for three games this season


The Cardinals are getting a new look in 2022 – at least above the shoulders.

The team announced Sunday it will take advantage of the NFL's new rule of alternate helmets, and unveiled a new black helmet, complete with a metallic-looking birdhead and black facemask.

"I see the red sparkles in there -- I think that's the best part of it," Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker said when seeing the helmet for the first time. "It looks black but it has like a chrome-ish red look, those are going to look real clean. Play good, look good, feel good for sure."

The helmet will be worn three times this season:

  • Aug. 21 in a preseason home game against the Ravens with the alternate black jerseys (with white numbers);
  • Oct. 9 at home against the Eagles with the alternate black jerseys;
  • Oct. 20 on "Thursday Night Football" at home against the Saints with the Color Rush jerseys (black with red numbers).

The alternate helmet can only be worn with alternate jerseys.

"The look of this helmet is so incredibly sharp and something I know that both our players and fans will absolutely love," Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. "We are excited to showcase them this season, especially on a national stage."

"That's a beautiful helmet," quarterback Kyler Murray said.

The Cardinals have only had a white helmet since 1959. After the NFL ended a ban on plastic helmets in 1949, the Cardinals for a decade used both white and red helmets. The Ravens preseason game will be the first time since the 1958 preseason the Cardinals have worn a non-white helmet in a game.

Cardinals players will get their alternate helmets at the same time as their regular helmets, at the outset of training camp. Per the rules, alternate helmets have to be worn in practice at least the week leading to the game in which they will be worn if not more often, to make sure players are comfortable.

The NFL outlawed use of a second helmet almost a decade ago, with the idea that different helmets could fit a player differently and therefore be a potential safety risk. The rule was changed in 2021, and teams had to tell the league last year if they planned to use an alternate helmet in 2022.

The Cardinals are one of 13 teams to announce a second helmet in 2022. The other teams are the Bears, Patriots, Panthers, Jets, Giants, Texans, Cowboys, Bengals, Saints, Commanders, Falcons and Eagles.

"I like that it's new and different," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "It's cool. It's going to look good under the lights with the black uniforms.

"I assume it hits people just as hard as with the other helmets, so looking forward to that."

Images of the Arizona Cardinals alternate helmet to be worn for select games during the 2022 season