TAMPA — The Bucs announced Tuesday that they won't take the field this season in their popular throwback orange jerseys as scheduled on Sept. 29 against Arizona, citing an NFL safety requirement mandating the same helmets be used in all games.
"While we regret that our players won't be able to don the 'Bucco Bruce' helmet and traditional orange, red and white uniforms, there simply was no acceptable way to meet the requirements of the new policy while staying true to the spirit of our throwback theme," Brian Ford, the Bucs' chief operating officer, said in a statement released by the team. "We will continue to explore options with the league office for bringing back this fan favorite in future seasons."
The Bucs have had throwback games in each of the past four seasons, and the tradition has been popular with fans, bringing the team's early years together with its pewter-and-red present. The first game in 2009 drew an announced crowd of 62,994 and saw the first career start for quarterback Josh Freeman, who led the team to an upset win against the Packers. The first three throwback games coincided with the team's "Ring of Honor" ceremony, but that was a separate game last season and will be again this year.