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What are the Bengals Color Rush uniforms?

The Cincinnati Bengals unveiled their Color Rush uniforms in 2016 as part of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football Color Rush promotion. The Bengals’ Color Rush uniform is an all-orange look that pays homage to the team’s original uniforms from 1968-1979.

Overview of the Bengals Color Rush Uniform

The Bengals’ Color Rush uniform features the following elements:

  • Orange jersey with black numerals and white lettering
  • Orange pants
  • Orange socks
  • No side stripes on the jersey or pants like their regular uniforms
  • “BENGALS” wordmark across the chest instead of the standard “CINCINNATI”
  • Helmet is unchanged – orange with black tiger stripes

The Bengals first wore the all-orange look in Week 11 of the 2016 season against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football. They also wore the uniform in Week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers that same season.

History of the Bengals Uniforms

Here is a brief history of the Bengals’ uniforms over the years:

  • 1968-1979 – Solid orange jerseys with black helmets featuring orange and black tiger stripes. No stripes on the jerseys or pants.
  • 1980-1981 – Switched to black jerseys with white side stripes outlined in orange. Orange helmets and pants.
  • 1981-1996 – Moved to the recognizable black jersey with orange and white side stripes. White pants. Helmet remained orange with black tiger stripes.
  • 1997-2003 – Mostly same as prior look but with black pants instead of white.
  • 2004-2011 – More emphasis on the orange. Orange jerseys were now worn for most home games. Black remained for away.
  • 2012-2015 – With the introduction of the NFL’s “Elite 51” alternate jersey program, the Bengals debuted a white alternate jersey with black side stripes outlined in orange. This look was worn about once a year.
  • 2016-Present – Current uniforms introduced. Orange jerseys with black side stripes are now the primary home uniform.

As you can see, the Bengals’ Color Rush uniform pays homage to the original look from 1968-1979 with the solid orange jerseys and pants minus any stripes.

Why Orange for the Bengals’ Color Rush?

There are a few reasons why the Bengals chose orange for their Color Rush uniform:

  • Orange has always been one of the Bengals’ primary team colors, along with black and white.
  • The first Bengals uniforms from 1968-1979 were solid orange, so it connects back to the team’s origins.
  • Orange provides a vibrant, eye-catching look especially for the Color Rush primetime games.
  • The Bengals wanted to do something dramatically different from their standard home and away uniforms.

Orange has always been an integral part of the Bengals’ identity. While they moved away from the all-orange look after 1979, fans still strongly associate the color with the team. The Color Rush program gave the Bengals a chance to bring back a modern take on their original uniforms which have proven very popular with fans.

Fan Reaction to the Bengals’ Color Rush Uniform

Overall, Bengals fans have responded very positively to the all-orange Color Rush uniform. Most fans and observers consider it among the best of the Color Rush uniforms from an aesthetic perspective. Key fan reactions include:

  • Nostalgia – Fans who remember the 1960s and 1970s Bengals uniforms have loved the throwback nature of the Color Rush look.
  • Bold styling – The solid orange makes for a bold, eye-catching look compared to other teams’ Color Rush uniforms.
  • Clean design – Lack of side stripes provides a streamlined look compared to their normal uniforms.
  • Color balance – The orange jerseys pair nicely with the orange pants rather than creating a clash.

There are some fans who don’t like the monochrome orange look and prefer the classic Bengals jersey with orange and black stripes. However, most feedback from fans, fashion columnists, uniform experts, and NFL analysts has been positive regarding the Bengals’ Color Rush uniform being one of the best in the league.

When Do the Bengals Wear the Color Rush Uniform?

The NFL’s Color Rush program calls for teams to wear their alternate uniforms for Thursday Night Football games late in the season. Here are the games where the Bengals have worn their Color Rush uniform so far:

Season Date Opponent Result
2016 November 20 at Buffalo Bills L 16-12
2016 December 18 Pittsburgh Steelers L 24-20
2018 December 13 at Los Angeles Chargers L 26-21
2019 November 21 Pittsburgh Steelers W 16-10
2020 October 29 at Cleveland Browns W 37-34

As seen above, the Bengals generally wear the all-orange Color Rush uniform for one Thursday night game per season. The dates are typically in November or December when the NFL schedule starts featuring more division matchups.

Are Any Changes Planned for the Bengals’ Color Rush Uniform?

The Bengals have not announced any planned changes to their Color Rush uniform. Considering the overwhelmingly positive fan response, they will likely maintain the all-orange look into the future. Some potential updates could include:

  • Minor striping details – Could add a faint black stripe or outline to break up the solid orange look while maintaining the clean design.
  • White accents – Perhaps adding white stripes, color on the numbers, or outlining on the jersey lettering.
  • Matte helmet – Switching to a matte finish on the orange helmets to match the modern jersey fabrics.

However, any changes would likely be very subtle to uphold the nostalgic simplicity of the original 1960s design. Major changes would go against the entire spirit and intent behind the Bengals’ Color Rush uniform.


The Cincinnati Bengals’ Color Rush uniform represents a modern take on the franchise’s original uniforms from 1968 to 1979. The solid orange jerseys and pants provide a bold, vibrant look for primetime games. Fans have responded very positively to the nostalgic and eye-catching style.

The Bengals stayed true to their team history and identity with the color choice. The uniform is considered one of the NFL’s best alternate looks. Expect the Bengals to continue wearing the popular all-orange Color Rush for important night games in the future with perhaps only slight tweaks to the design.

In summary, the Bengals Color Rush uniform:

  • Features all-orange jerseys, pants, socks, and unchanged helmets
  • Was introduced in 2016 as part of the NFL Color Rush program
  • Harkens back to the Bengals’ original uniforms from 1968-1979
  • Provides a bold, vibrant look for primetime games
  • Has been very popular with fans due to its nostalgic yet modern style
  • Will likely remain part of the Bengals uniform rotation for years to come