Eagles kelly green jerseys to make long-awaited return in 2023


PALM BEACH, Fla. — Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie on Tuesday delivered some news fans have been waiting on for years: kelly green jerseys are coming back.

Beginning in the 2023 season, the Eagles will re-introduce their classic kelly green alternate jerseys with matching helmets. Lurie said they want to make these jerseys as close to the 1980s style that so many fans remember.

“I’m here to announce that beginning in the 2023 season, we’re going to have the kelly green, classic Eagles jersey and matching helmet and do it the right way,” Lurie said at the NFL owners meetings. “It’s what our fans have wanted, it’s what we’ve wanted and we’re going to be able to introduce that for that season.”

The NFL announced a new policy in June of 2021 that would allow teams to use two different helmets starting with the 2022 season. This had been the hurdle in the way of the Eagles’ using their kelly green jerseys as an alternate.

While there was no rule against the use of the kelly green jerseys, Lurie had repeatedly said he didn’t want to bring back the jerseys without a matching helmet. Using full-helmet decals was an option he was not interested in.

And kelly green jerseys paired with midnight green helmets wouldn’t have looked right.

The Eagles are working with Nike to try to match a kelly green with the 1980s color and that takes time. That’s why Lurie said these jerseys won’t be ready until 2023. Nike doesn’t currently have the color in its palette with their new material. “It’s going to be as identical as what existed as possible,” he said.

In the meantime, the Eagles will utilize the alternate helmet rule to use black helmets. They will also keep pushing the league to eventually allow three different helmets per player, which would allow them to have kelly green and black.

“What we’re going to do for this season is to have a black helmet because we have a black jersey,” Lurie said. “And our players love wearing black and they love all black.”

The initial reason for the one-helmet rule was a safety issue. The league wanted players to be fitted correctly for one helmet and potentially doubling that could have made that more difficult. But that rule was also outdated. The NFL has seemingly infinite resources, pulling in billions of dollars. Surely, they can afford to safely add some helmets to the mix.

The Eagles even proposed this rule change once before but then withdrew it based on a suggestion from the competition committee. But the rule finally changed last year.

“They know that with the Eagles, it’s important to us,” Lurie said in 2018. “We really want to be able to have kelly green jerseys at times and to make it look really right, you need to have matching helmets.”

Now that’s finally happening.

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