Every now and then, we get a story in pro sports where a player is fined or reprimanded in some way for something viewed as trivial by the public. In the NFL, this often happens when a player violates the league’s uniform policy. In the past, players have been punished for wearing the wrong socks or cleats on the field. Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison is getting lots of attention for his gold chain mouthpiece, and, amazingly, the NFL hasn’t rained on his parade.
Not that Mattison is the first player to wear a gold chain on the field, as he also wears a necklace under his shoulder pads. But the chain laced around the mouth guard is a different look. We know how sensitive the league can be about things like this, but Sunday night against Denver wasn’t the first time Mattison rocked this mouthpiece.
Minnesota selected the former Boise St. back in the third round of the 2019 draft. His first four years in the NFL were spent in a backup role behind former Pro Bowl rusher Dalvin Cook. When Cook was let go, that was the opening Mattison had waited for since being drafted.
While Mattison is yet to top 100 yards rushing in a game, he did run for 93 and 95 yards, respectively, in back-to-back games earlier this year. Regardless of his production, the chain hanging out of his mouth during games never ceases to amaze and catch the attention of TV cameras around the stadium.
This may be something he cleared with the league office a while ago since he’s rocked it for the last couple of years (Deadpin has reached out to the NFL and will update with any response). Hopefully, all the attention this custom mouthpiece has garnered doesn’t blow up his spot and put Mattison on the NFL uniform rules radar. The NFL seems to have a hard-on for players’ socks. Miami’s Tyreek Hill was fined earlier this year for not wearing socks against Denver. Back in the day, Clinton Portis and Sean Taylor were fined for wearing the wrong socks during a game. It’s called the No Fun League for good reason.