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Visor rules as Colin Kaepernick, Torrey Smith sport them in minicamp

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The San Francisco 49ers have some players wearing tinted visors during minicamp. We break down the rules regarding wearing them in games.

The San Francisco 49ers are entering their final day of mandatory minicamp, and there has been one small but moderately interesting development. We've seen pictures of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and wide receiver Torrey Smith sporting visors during drills. Here are two such pictures.

I asked Smith if he planned on wearing the visor during the season, and he said not during games, but maybe in practice.

The NFL actually has rules in place regarding visors during games. Players can do what they want in practice, but as with the rest of the uniform, there are specific rules as to what is allowed with visors. In the 2015 NFL rule book, specifics to visors ("plastic eye shields") can be found in Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3, Item 1.

Clear visors are allowed without permission from the league. However, tinted visors require a doctor's note followed by specific permission from the league. I'm guessing we won't see Kap with a tinted visor this fall, but we'll see. Cam Newton sports a clear visor, but I can't think of any other quarterback who has gone with a visor on his helmet.

Item 1. Helmet, Face Protectors. Helmet with all points of the chin strap (white only) fastened and facemask attached. Facemasks must not be more than ⅝-inch in diameter and must be made of rounded material; transparent materials are prohibited. Clear (transparent) plastic eye shields are optional. Tinted eye shields may be worn only after the League office is supplied with appropriate medical documentation and approval is subsequently granted. The League office has final approval. No visible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer; in no event is identification of any helmet manufacturer permitted on the visible surface of a rear cervical pad. All helmets must carry a small NFL shield logo on the rear lower-left exterior, and an approved warning label on the rear lower-right exterior. Both labels will be supplied in quantity by the League office.