As you watched the Panthers take on the Bears in Thursday night’s preseason opener, you may have noticed something different about Carolina's uniforms.
We’re not talking about a major overhaul, but if you look closely, the subtle modifications are apparent.
And if you’re wearing them, the change is even more noticeable.
“The players are loving them,” Panthers equipment manager Don Toner said.
The new uniforms are Nike’s “Vapor Untouchable” model. Before this season, the Panthers and Packers were the only clubs who hadn’t adopted them.
The lightweight jerseys are designed with no panels on the front and fewer seams to increase mobility and range of motion.
“Guys had worn these uniforms with other teams or at the Pro Bowl and they came back and said how much they liked the fabric and how it plays – that’s the most important thing for them,” Toner said. “It’s kind of like shrink wrap on you. Very form-fitting. But you can move well in it.”
The Panthers made a couple other modifications to their design. The Panther head is gone from the side of the pants to allow for greater flexibility. The dazzle cloth on the shoulders is also gone, as it wasn’t compatible with this Nike template. Also of note for this season: the Panthers are wearing a 25 seasons patch in addition to the NFL 100 logo on the collar.
As Toner said, the players expressed their desire to make the switch. Owner David Tepper heard the request last season and wanted the new uniforms approved by the NFL and implemented in time for 2019.
"Dave was all for it if it was going to help these guys. The players mentioned it to him and he said, 'If the players want it, let’s go with it,'" Toner said. "Dave and (team president) Tom (Glick) were the catalysts in getting it done."
Judging by the responses on social media, Panthers fans love the new look. Toner said the players came out of the Chicago game wanting some minor alterations, which was expected.
“We listen to everybody, especially guys at different positions. We want to hear all the feedback because it’s new to us as well,” Toner said. “We’re one game in, and so far, so good.”
Check out the best photos from the locker room, field and everything in between from the Panthers photographers at Chicago.