The Houston Texans jersey has remained essentially the same since the team’s debut in 2002, but there have been a few additions to the look over the years.
Prior to 2002
Before the team debuted in 2002, nothing was known about the team’s jerseys, as only a white helmet and logo accompanied the team’s name unveiling.
When the Texans revealed their uniforms, they consisted of a navy blue, known as ‘deep steel blue’ jersey along with a traditional white road jersey, known as ‘liberty white.’
The home blues consist of white numbering, a red outline, red shoulder trim and a red collar.
The white jersey contains a red number, blue outlines, and blue shoulder trim.
The Texans are one of few teams to wear their ‘TV’ numbers on their sleeves, while most NFL teams have since moved their TV numbers to the shoulder area since the introduction of tighter-fitting jerseys, which ironically became a permanent fixture among all NFL teams in 2002.
The team also introduced a red (battle red) alternate jersey with blue shoulder trim, white numbering, and a blue outline. In 2007, the Texans would pair these jerseys with red pants at home for what they called ‘Battle Red Day,’ but poor reception forced the team to retire the look. The team has, however, continued use of the red jersey, pairing it with their traditional white pants.
The Texans tend to wear white at home during early season games, as many teams located in the Southeast and Southwest due to the hot and humid September and early-October climate, forcing opponents to wear their dark jerseys.
Finally, in 2017, the team debuted their color rush jersey. This look is identical to the team’s existing home jersey, except the numbering and nameplates are red instead of white while a white outline accompanies the numbers.
The Texans tweaked their uniform slightly in 2019, adding a logo above their nameplate, similar to what the Buffalo Bills did in 2011.
Future Houston Oilers Throwback?
If you checked out either my ideal helmet or ideal jersey article, I placed the helmet and jersey of the old Houston Oilers as the ideal look for the Texans, as J.J. Watt, DeShaun Watson, and DeAndre Hopkins have actively lobbied the NFL and Tennessee Titans’ owner Amy Adams Strunk to hand the rights of the Oilers’ name and colors to the Texans so the team could someday wear Oilers throwbacks.
This is further evidenced by J.J. Watt posting a plea on Instagram, while Hopkins photoshopped himself in an Oilers’ uniform on the same platform. Further, Watson is seen at times entering NRG Stadium donning a Warren Moon jersey.
Maybe it’ll happen in the future, and maybe it won’t. It’s a murky subject, as legally the Oilers’ rights remain with the Titans, however the fan base the team left behind has remained in Houston.
History does show, however, that cities and fan bases can win such battles in the courts, as the City of Cleveland did against former owner Art Modell and the NFL, forcing Modell to agree to leave the Browns’ name, colors, and history in Cleveland while subsequently starting up the Baltimore Ravens.
One might also remember a recent example in the NBA, when Tom Benson, upon purchasing the New Orleans Hornets decided to change the team’s name to the New Orleans Pelicans, retiring the Hornets name. Michael Jordan, owner of the then Charlotte Bobcats, purchased the name Hornets while re-acquiring the history of the team during their time in Charlotte.
Legally, the New Orleans Pelicans are now considered to have started play in 2002, the year the original Hornets left the City of Charlotte, while the ‘new’ Hornets are considered to have ceased operations in 2002, returning to the league in 2004 as the Bobcats before resurrecting the Hornets’ name in Charlotte once more in 2014.
While the NBA and NFL operate in differing legal manners, in all technicality, there have been ways, as recent history shows, that this isn’t exactly impossible to accomplish.
It’s interesting, because usually with newer teams one would think to see more experimentation with the uniform, especially with Nike at the helm as manufacturer for all thirty-two NFL teams. However, it’s not the case with the Texans, who’ve stuck to tradition as they enter their eighteenth season.
Traditionalists like myself would hope it remains the case for years to come. It’s a generic, but solid look with few frills but one that also has timeless potential.
Now, if a Houston Oilers’ throwback ever leaps through legal bounds and is in the works, sign me up tomorrow. I would give an arm and a leg to see the old Columbia blue stalk the playing field once more.
Related Article: The Houston Texans Helmet History