The NFL issued a ban last week on all customized facemasks that do not serve a health-related purpose.
Customized facemasks have grown in popularity over the past year starting with the New York Giant's Justin Tuck, who early on introduced a "Bane" style custom mask. The mask was named after the character of Bane in the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." Bane wears a mask throughout the film.
But the customizations of masks has gone too far according to NFL officials, who issued a notice on Friday that customized face masks do not meet the required regulations. One of the first notices was issued via email to Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, who recently purchased a customized facemask that includes multiple cross bars and a sun shade across the eyes.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote Friday in an email to NFL.com and NFL Network that the face mask Mathis has used throughout training camp "was considered a prohibited non-standard customized face mask."
"A player would need a medical reason to wear this type of face mask," McCarthy added about Mathis' gear, which covers up just about everything on his face except his eyes.
The regulations will be forced on other players as well whose masks fail to serve some sort of medical purpose. Those player include: Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals, DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskin's Brian Orakpo. Orakpo just debuted his new mask at the end of July.
"It's a secret. No one else will have this one. I want to credit J. Tuck, the homie, for starting this trend. But I went ahead and created my own little deal. I got it coming soon," he told The Washington Post before the mask arrived.
"Think Bane," he continued. "From Batman."
Justin Tuck, however, will be permitted to keep his custom facemask. Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty and Tuck "both applied for medical clearance for their face masks and it was granted," McCarthy told NFL.com.
Tuck allegedly developed that mask after suffering a neck injury. The mask is intended to prevent opponents from reaching inside the mask and jerking his head. Canty sighted an eye injury.