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Ask Athlon Sports: Players' Hair Length in the NFL

Q: Why doesn’t the NFL restrict hair length so it doesn’t cover the player’s name?  It’s gotten way out of hand.

— Bob Rook, Liberty Hill, Texas

A: Bob, I tend to agree — players are starting to let their locks grow and letting their freak flag fly. From Clay Matthews’ flowing blond mane to Chris Johnson's dreadlocks, hair has been steadily creeping down the backs of jerseys for some time now; pretty soon we'll have Cousin It suiting up. There’s no rule against long hair; in fact, the NFL considers hair that extends out of a player’s helmet as part of the uniform and therefore can be used to make a tackle. But there is a safety issue at play here, and in this era of heightened awareness of player health and safety, the league may need to address hair-grabbing like it did with horse-collar tackling.

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

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