On Friday, the NFL told Colts defensive end Robert Mathis that his custom facemask would not be permitted by the league. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told NFL.com via e-mail that the mask, which is similar to Brian Orakpo’s custom Bane mask, ”was considered a prohibited non-standard customized face mask.”
Orakpo wasn’t wearing his Bane mask Thursday night against the Titans, instead opting for the standard-issue, boring three-bar design. Mike Shanahan said on Friday that, to his knowledge, Orakpo hadn’t been contacted by the league. It’s possible that the custom grill may never see a game.
Stephen Bowen, who also wears a custom mask and visor, might find himself another casualty of the ruling. According to the McCarthy e-mail, a player would need to provide a medical reason why his custom facemask was a necessity. “Because I want to look awesome” doesn’t count.
UPDATE: According to Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Orakpo’s mask has been banned.
Brian Orakpo confirms his facemask has been banned by NFL. Says he’s working on an appeal.
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) August 12, 2013