If you bought a Detroit Lions Teez Tabor jersey during his rookie season, I may have some bad news for you. No, he didn’t suffer a career-ending injury or anything like that. But it appears that he may have already decided to change his number.
In his rookie year, Teez Tabor sported the number 30, just one below the 31 he wore at the University of Florida. The number 31 was already occupied by cornerback DJ Hayden, who was signed a month before the Lions drafted Tabor in the second round of the draft. However, Hayden did not re-sign with the Lions this offseason, instead agreeing to join the Jacksonville Jaguars, leaving the number 31 vacant for Tabor to reclaim.
Nothing is official yet, but as pointed out by Lions Twitter member @SteezTabor (no relation), the official NFL shop is selling Tabor jerseys with the number 31:
This isn’t exactly conclusive evidence that Tabor has made that decision to change his number. The official shops could just be selling Lions jerseys with an homage to his days at Florida. For what it’s worth, according to the Lions’ official roster, Teez still is still sporting the number 30.
However, it’s extremely common for young players to reclaim their college jersey numbers once they become available again. Thus far, no new Lions have claimed the number 31 (the official Lions store is selling #26 DeShawn Shead jerseys). So I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll see Tabor sporting the 31 for the Lions in 2018.