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Black Panthers: Carolina Adds Ebony Alternate Helmet

The Panthers today became the latest NFL team to take advantage of the one-shell rule’s demise, as they announced the unveiling of a new black alternate helmet — the first non-silver helmet in the team’s history.

The helmet will be worn as part of a mono-black uni combo when the Panthers host the Falcons for a Thursday-night game on Nov. 10.

This makes the Panthers the seventh NFL team so far to add a second helmet color for 2022. The other six are the Eagles (black alternate), Falcons (red throwback), Patriots (white throwback), Saints (black alternate), Commanders (black alternate), and Texans (red alternate). In addition, we know the Bengals will be unveiling a white alternate soon.

Personally, I love this move. As I wrote in one of my recent Bulletin columns, “[I]f the team wants to create an alternate helmet, the choice is obvious: Some panthers are black (including the team’s logo mascot), and the team sometimes goes mono-black, so they should go ahead and top off that uni combo with a black helmet.”

You can see lots of additional photos here.

Comments (51)

    Probably the best use of alternate helmets yet. Wouldn’t be shocked if this moves into the regular helmet in the next few years

    I’d argue that the Patriots have made the best use of the alternate helmet program…so far.
    Too bad they opted to keep those horrible helmet stripes, but that’s a minor flaw in an otherwise great design.

    There are certain teams that can/should go mono-black or BFBS based on the existing identity of the team and the panthers are one of them. Good for them for trying something new (they don’t have a throwback to throw back to, anyway), as the different helmet designs in college football are one of my favorite aspects of uni design, I look forward to seeing this used in moderation in the NFL. The other team that is allowed/should have a mono/BFBS look is the ravens.

    Anyway, I like this helmet on principle. The logo placement is bugging the gel out of me though.

    I love it. Picking nits – but minutiae is what is done at UW – I would have preferred the logo with white and blue instead of only blue. But it was long overdue that a team that likes to wear black/black/black at home after the weather cools down later in the season completes the look with black lids.

    During his playing days, Steve Smith suggested this. Took a few years, but now it’s reality.

    Now … to get rid of blue/black/black and black/white/whateversocks. The “errors” in the trial-and-error phase of Carolina Panthers uniforms the last few seasons.

    I agree. The pants bingo that has taken place after the introduction of the black pants has ruined a decent set (the blue over black is especially vile). Black/Silver/Black is still their best look by far and has aged well. The rest? Not so much.

    Is it just me or is the logo set too far back? I know they need to adjust the location of the decals because of the new helmet designs, but it feels off.

    I think it’s tough for them with the shape of the stripe forking out. If the logo were in the center of the helmet, it would have to be pretty small. The best solution would be to fix the stripe, but alas.

    I agree. The logo is either too far back or just too small. Looks different than it does on the silver helmet. I don’t care for this helmet at all. The logo is barely visible. Black helmet is fine, but this is poorly executed.

    I think they place the logo that way so the face of the panther is close to centered on the side profile of the helmet, and then the neck trails off towards the back. Rather than the centerpoint of the logo being matched with the centerpoint of the side profile of the helmet.

    YES! It is absolutely too far back and too high up. Unfortunately victim of a logical response to all the new holes and slits and channels that are being put into helmets.

    However, it being essentially composed of highlights (it’s almost a negative space design), even if not for the helmet topography, the possible visual interference by the chin strap would render this design highly ineffective as well, as there just isn’t a substantial enough amount of color/imagery to read in the design. Any little thing in the way would ruin the look, so they’ve chosen to ruin it a little bit with unfortunate placement in order to avoid it being ruined completely by helmet features, I suspect.

    I’ve been a Panthers fan since the expansion days when I was a child, and I have to say I feel meh about the new helmet. I know the Panthers aren’t a team with a ton of history, but now that they’ve worn (nearly) the same uniforms for over 25 years, I have a strong feeling as to what the Panthers “ought” to look like. Hopefully this will remain a rarity.

    Seems like the logo needs some white accents to make it stand out. As it is, it’s getting swallowed up.

    Love the new site Paul!

    Big fan of this helmet. I honestly think its better than their silver helmet. Best alternate we have seen so far other than the obvious throwback alternates the Pats and Falcons.

    As an Eagles Fan I am both excited and nervous for our Black alternate to come out.

    Kinda weird they’re going to first wear this against the Falcons… who have a black helmet and frequently go mono black.

    Love the move, I just wish the helmet had a touch of white. Either in the eyes or teeth.

    I like helmet, I just don’t get wearing it against the Falcons another team with a black helmet.

    The helmet is sharp but the logo placement looks ridiculous, second only to the Raiders’ shield where the bottom almost touches the earhole.

    After decades of BFBS, it’s a refreshing change to get BFAP (Black For A Purpose). There aren’t a ton of teams that can justify an alternate black shell, but the Panthers are 100% on that list (despite my own dashed hope that they would opt for a blue shell.) These look great; one hell of a lot better than the VERY BFBS black shells the Eagles are adopting.

    So the Eagles are going to go with a ATL Black helmet for 1 year and then ditch it for the Kelly green throwback?

    Yeah, I think Paul sort of foreshadowed this and cautioned us about getting rid of the one shell rule. On the one hand “yeah, we get to see some good throwbacks” on the other hand it wasn’t only for throwbacks and now we’ll enter NCAA football territory where most teams have more than one helmet and no signature look.
    If the NFL was going to strictly enforce something like only one game per year for alternate/throwback helmets and jerseys it would be something you could live with.

    Yeah, the NFL always starts off with rules – throwbacks X times a year, Color Rush just for certain of the week, have to keep new designs for X number of years – and then the rules quickly go away.
    Even the alternate helmets were supposed to be for throwbacks or alternate jerseys. In the case of the Bengals & Panthers that apparently already isn’t gong to be the case, they each appear to be pairing their new helmets with regular jerseys.
    And the Eagles are going to have a one off black helmet due to the introduction of a kelly green helmet in 2023? Donuts to dollars they wear three different helmets in 2023 (I don’t know that for sure, hope I’m wrong).


    I would have kept the regular logo (Silver teeth and eyes) and put a silver trim on the stripes to better match the jersey stripes.

    So my understanding was that teams can only wear an alternate helmet with an “alternate, throwback, or color rush jersey”. Unless the Panthers plan to make the blue jersey their primary home, wouldn’t the black-on-black(-on-black) not be allowed?

    Obviously it’s a good look, but maybe I’m misinterpreting the alternate helmet rules.

    Pretty sure that “alternate, throwback, or color rush jersey” isn’t going to the actual application… Obviously the Panthers are going to wear these with their black jerseys, and the Bengals will wear their white helmets with their white “away” jerseys.
    Like so many “rules” leagues come up with, they get tweaked or discarded.


    Given that the Bengals white helmet actually their white uniforms better than the orange helmet, yes, it almost makes sense that the NFL is just moving into a multi-shell time where there isn’t a standard helmet and occasional alternate, but almost a home and away, or mix and match.
    Though with the Bengals uniforms it is interesting that neither helmet actually works well with the white jerseys. The orange helmets stands out and is out of place because there is so little orange on the rest of the uniforms. But with the white helmet you now have the jersey number outlines, wordmark, and swoosh, and the stand out and seem out of place as orange on an otherwise strictly black and white design.

    I think its interesting that the Bengals haven’t shown the combo yet. I thought perhaps it was because the NFL was enforcing the rule and they had to come up with a new white uniform. But now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    The Panthers have made one of the bottom 5 uniforms in the NFL (IMO) even worse. Kinda hard to do but they did it.

    From a practical standpoint, if you’re more than literally like 6 feet away, you’ll have no idea what is on the Panthers helmet.
    This is definitely a situation where if you’re going to do an all black helmet, an entire new helmet logo should have been created as well.

    This is terrible design.


    I agree with some here who suggest adding white to the helmet logo to help it stand out. Also I’d drop the helmet stripes all together.

    I think black helmet and pants would look good with the light blue jersey.

    Something in this new NFL helmet universe is disturbing me. Seems like every team that has black in their uniforms is now going to have a black helmet. Commanders, Eagles, Saints, Panthers now this year, and of course teams that have black helmets already.

    Black helmets for black panthers. White helmets for white bengal tigers. You’re up Jags and Lions. :)

    I may be alone, but I like their Titans look for an alternate/throwback.
    They’ve gotten enough mileage out of the ‘Namath era’ uniforms, but I would not be opposed to seeing those once again if paired with the jet airplane logo helmet.

    I like this, though I think a powder/carolina/baby blue helmet would have been better. Ideally I guess they’d have the blue one as the standard and a black one as the alternate. I also think given the Falcons and Saints are black teams, just feels a little redundant for the Panthers to go black rather than blue hear..
    In any event I think Carolina was due to get rid of the silver helmet, this might be the first step depending on how it is received.
    I’m all for “if it aint broke then don’t fix it” when it comes to uniforms. And the Panthers uniform isn’t bad, but it certainly does appear stuck in the 1990s. It isn’t a timeless look and could use an update, not necessarily a full overhaul.

    Agree completely. The Panthers blue jersey is their best look and I’d love to see the helmet match.

    It looks good, but what bothers me is that, at least with the lightining in the pictures, the logo is a different shade of black (more like charcoal) than the helmet. Maybe they haste the production for this photoshoot and it didn’t came quite right. Maybe I’m exagerating, but I would hope it would look a little more like the old Jaguars helmet (link).

    I…don’t hate this. Not sure I’m fully on board with the opinion that the Panthers’ uniforms are dated or too ’90s-looking, but if they are, then I think switching from silver to black helmets goes a long way toward making the look more current.

    In the minority, here, but I have loved the Panthers’ uniforms since Day 1. I even Liked the Lions’ uniforms when they adopted Carolina’s color scheme. The helmet is nice and I like the Panthers’ unique helmet stripes.

    The design is nice, but it doesn’t match the rest of the uniform! To make sense it would need a black jersey and pants with just blue numbers and trim. Maybe that is going to be their new color rush equivalent that they have yet to reveal? If they stick with the standard uniform it just looks “tone-deaf” like a lot of recent uniform design.

    A black helmet would be ok, but this isn’t it. IMO, this will look like the Miami Marlins black jersey (not visible). White outline would be a huge improvement. The logo needs moved forward as well. Last, personally I dislike a matte helmet in football and baseball.

    Not a fan of mono black, but the Panthers pull it off thanks to the contrasting Carolina Blue sleeve and pants striping. The black helmet also looks much better than the silver with this combination. I wish they would’ve used a die cut sticker instead of a black standard sticker on the black shell.

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