March 28, 2023
At long last, the Philadelphia Eagles will wear Kelly green jerseys and helmets during a game in 2023. The announcement came from Jeffrey Lurie at the NFL owners meetings, AKA the site of the annual Kelly green jersey update.
What took so long? Well, let's start from the beginning. The Eagles last wore Kelly green jerseys (and helmets) during the 2010 season. Thereafter, the league implemented a rule that teams could only have one helmet color, on the basis that players would always wear the same helmet, which apparently at the time was viewed as some sort of player safety precaution. Occasionally, you might see teams like the Packers or Bears wear throwback helmets, but only the decals changed, not the base color of the helmet.
The Eagles could have worn Kelly green jerseys, but because the one-color helmet rule was in effect, they would still have to wear their midnight green helmets, and Kelly green jerseys with midnight green helmets would have looked dumb.
In June of 2021, however, the league approved a new rule that allowed for teams to have one alternate color helmet. But in a cruel twist, the football gods seemingly did not want the Eagles to wear Kelly green yet, and the Birds' plans were delayed because they had already submitted black as their alternate color for the 2022 season.
What?!? Why couldn't the league just allow the Eagles to change their alternate color? What's the big deal? Well, the short-short explanation is that Nike needed a certain amount of lead time in order to incorporate Kelly green into their color scheme, and the Eagles would much rather make sure they look right than rush their production.
Of course, we already knew the team would very likely have Kelly green jerseys once again in 2023, since Lurie announced as much at the NFL owners meetings a year ago. Soon after that announcement, the NFL posted a picture of Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith in Kelly green, and well, if they look like anything like this picture the Eagles will sell a hell of a lot of Kelly green jerseys.
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