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New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots runs the ball for a touchdown against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

There’s been a lot of talk about the Patriots reverting to a more classic look since the team adopted its current uniforms before the 2020 season. After plenty of speculation, it appears a new/old look is right around the corner.

According to the Patriots Hall of Fame Twitter account, the Patriots’ red throwback jerseys will return in 2022. The team hasn’t worn red since 2012, in a Week 7 win over the Jets.

Of course, there could be subtle changes once the uniforms return. The Patriots wore  red as a throwback periodically between 2009 and 2012, although different years saw slight alterations including the size, spacing, and pattern of the stripes, as well as the color of the facemask and stripes on the helmet.

The reason the Patriots – and a number of other NFL teams – stopped wearing their throwbacks after that point is the NFL instituting the ‘One Shell Rule’ which limited teams to just one helmet during the season. Unable to wear the white helmet, the red throwback uniform would have been incomplete. That rule is being lifted for the 2022 season.

This doesn’t mean the Patriots’ blueberry uniforms will be going away, at least for now. Per NFL rules, once a team changes its primary uniform – as the Patriots did in 2020 – it can’t make another change for five years. Expect the Patriots to add the red and white look as an alternate, which can be worn up to three times in a season.

As for when exactly the red uniforms will make their return? That remains to be seen. The earliest update would likely be in the spring, when NFL teams tend to announce most of their uniform news.

Where do the Patriots’ classic red uniforms stand among their all-time looks? We ranked the Patriots uniforms earlier this year.

MORE: Patriots uniform rankings

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.