As the Green and Gold cruised to a 48-21 shellacking of the Atlanta Falcons in their own dome, everything was falling into line for the Pack. Rodgers was on fire, the defense was unstoppable, and everything was perfect... except for one tiny detail.
Somewhere along the line, John Kuhn lost the bumper from the back of his helmet, exposing the uneven end of his helmet stripes.
His helmet should have a white bumper bearing the team's stencil wordmark, as seen in this preseason shot:
The rear bumper is one of those places NFL teams can put their wordmarks. Bumpers were originally designed to prevent the helmet shell from cutting into a player's neck—and spinal column—if the facemask got shoved upwards. This was a serious concern in those early days, when the plastic shell was quite controversial, accused of causing and not preventing injuries. Sound familiar? Some modern helmet designs omit the need for a rear bumper altogether with additional interior padding. In that case, the Packers cover the blank space with a decal replicating the approximate look:
Other teams don't necessarily do this. For example, the New York Football Giants are perfectly content to leave bumper-less helmets alone:
Then again, the Giants don't use the rear bumper as a branding opportunity. So the Packers are left with this:
Although I appreciate the uniformity component to uniforms, I think the decal is more a little silly. If the helmet requires a bumper, then put a wordmark on it. But if it doesn't, then the decal is just more needless clutter on an already-crowded helmet.
(h/t: Uni Watch, Brendan Slattery for the screencap)