Why the Cincinnati Bengals are wearing white helmets, uniforms against the Miami Dolphins

The Cincinnati Bengals have their first home prime-time contest of the season on Thursday against the Miami Dolphins. It's also the first game they'll wear their "White Bengal" alternate helmet and uniform combination.

The Bengals first announced the new helmets with white and black tiger stripes in July, revealing their first alternate helmets in history. The team's social media accounts have since increased the anticipation around the official unveiling

On Monday, the Bengals shared a video that appeared to show a new white paint scheme at Paycor Stadium leading up to Thursday's game. They then followed that up by releasing a hype video for the upcoming matchup on Tuesday.

The Bengals and Dolphins are scheduled for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff at Paycor Stadium on Amazon Prime. Here's everything you need to know about their icy new helmets:

Watch: Bengals release hype video for white helmet game against Miami Dolphins

White Bengal: This is the process behind how the Bengals created their new look

New alternate Cincinnati Bengals helmet for the 2022 NFL season.
New alternate Cincinnati Bengals helmet for the 2022 NFL season.

Why are the Bengals adding a new helmet now?

The NFL revised its rule last year, allowing teams to introduce an alternate helmet during the 2022 season for the first time in almost 10 years. The Bengals, along with 12 other NFL teams, took advantage of the rule change and opted to add a secondary helmet to their rotation while also keeping their usual orange and black headgear.

Teams that add an alternate helmet must make sure they're the same make, model and size as primary helmets and needed to have them available for players during training camp. Players are also required to wear their alternate helmets during practice the week leading up to the game. Bengals safety Jessie Bates III was seen wearing the black and white helmet at practice last week.

How long has this been in the works?

The Bengals had to inform the NFL of their plans to add a new helmet to their uniform by July 2021, so the plan to unveil the "White Bengal" look has been in motion for over a year.

Bengals vs Dolphins:How to watch Thursday night's game

Spotted: Bengals break out white helmets during Friday practice. See here

Why are the Bengals debuting the helmets during their game against the Miami Dolphins?

The Bengals' "Thursday Night Football" game at Paycor Stadium is their first prime-time home game of the season, so their decision to choose this game for the unveiling makes sense.

The team also chose a "Thursday Night Football" matchup with the Dolphins in 2016 to debut its white and black "color rush" jerseys. At the time, Bengals equipment manager Adam Knollman said the white tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden inspired the look.

When else will the Bengals wear their alternate helmets?

The Bengals will wear their black and white helmets twice this season: this Thursday against the Dolphins and in Week 11 on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers for "Sunday Night Football."

How many helmets have the Bengals had throughout team history?

The Bengals have only worn three helmets, including the new white and black ones, since their debut in 1968. Paul Brown, who served as the Bengals' head coach and general manager after he was fired from the Cleveland Browns, modeled their first uniforms after the Browns', picking orange, black and white for the team colors with orange helmets and the word "Bengals" on the side.

The Bengals changed their uniforms in the early '80s, adopting the tiger stripes that are still a part of their uniforms and helmets today.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Why are the Bengals wearing white helmets on Thursday Night Football?