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Eagles going kelly green? It's complicated

The Eagles are looking into establishing kelly green for their alternate uniforms, instead of black. But there are substantial hurdles.

Eagles president Don Smolenski got the whole area buzzing when he talked on 94WIP Radio this morning about the possibility of kelly green uniforms.

The bottom line, though, is that these would be alternate unis, worn a few times a year, and right now NFL rules make even that switch impractical.

You might recall that the Eagles wore kelly green in their 2010 opener, a loss to the Green Bay Packers in which quarterback Kevin Kolb was concussed and fullback Leonard Weaver suffered a career-ending knee/leg injury, not unlike what happened to the NBA's Paul George last week. We haven't seen the Bednarik-era green since.

Turns out, the Eagles might like for us to see it, but the league has put in a rule that says you have to wear the same helmet, regardless of what you do with the rest of the uniform. So right now, if the Eagles dressed in kelly green, they'd have to do so with midnight green helmets, which would look silly.

The rule has to do with concussion protection, making sure the fit is right and helmets are thoroughly vetted in practice and so on before they're worn in games. Of course, it would be possible to do this with any color helmet, but right now, that's the rule. So it would have to be changed for kelly green to happen, Eagles sources say.

The time the current Eagles did wear kelly green, the equipment staff double-checked the fit with every player, even though the helmets were ordered to the same custom specs as the usual helmets, AND the Birds practiced all week in them, to make sure. That was before the "same helmet" rule.

There is another hangup having to do with the black jerseys the Eagles currently designate as their alternates. Once you designate something, you have to use it for five years. The team is trying to figure out when it last renewed the black jersey designation.

But there is a chance down the road for kelly green uniforms, a few times a year, at least.