The NFL may soon loosen restrictions to allow certain skill position players to wear single-digit jersey numbers — and some players seem interested.
As mentioned by Peter King last week, the NFL is expected to take up and approve a proposal from the Kansas City Chiefs to change the league’s jersey-number rules. Under the changes, King says the NFL’s new number ranges would be:
Quarterback, punter, kicker: 1-19
Running back, tight end, wide receiver: 1-49, 80-89
Defensive back: 1-49
Linebacker: 1-59, 90-99
Offensive lineman: 50-79
Defensive lineman: 50-79, 90-99
King added the Chiefs proposed the rule not just for aesthetic reasons, but because they ran out of available numbers in the 20-49 range in 2020, with so many retired by the franchise, so the expansion would help mitigate the problem.
Upon hearing about the proposal, some NFL stars have taken to social media to consider new numbers. This change would give many the chance to wear the same numbers they wore in college.
It's possible the NFL soon allows linebackers (and other positions) to have jersey numbers in the single digits.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) April 6, 2021
Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith posted on his Instagram story that he would like to wear number 9 if that is the case.
Jaylon wore 9 at Notre Dame and in high school. pic.twitter.com/g3EyGWI7WL
Looks like Dalvin Cook would be down to go back to his college #4 if the Chiefs’ jersey number proposal passes pic.twitter.com/jCorjFaHpH— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) April 8, 2021
Number 1 or 7 .... trying see what it’ll look like— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) April 5, 2021
Stefon Diggs tweeted later that he would be sticking with his current number: “I can’t change my number all the people that spent their hard earned money supporting the 14 I gotta keep it.”
When searching for opinions on this, that’s most of what I found — that if a player were to change their number, fans would be upset their jersey would no longer have the correct number of their favorite player. Understandable. But others seem interested in letting players have more freedom in choosing the numbers that represent them.
A few team accounts had fun with the idea too.
Jets offensive lineman Mekhi Becton joked he was eyeing No. 1, though it’s worth pointing out — that’s not an option under the new rule change. Still made for funny Twitter discourse.
Looks like given the opportunity, Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah won’t be tempted to go back to his high school and college number - No. 1. But he is sporting a new number this year, opting to pick up Darius Slay’s old number. Both began wearing 30 before transitioning to 23.
Nah... you appreciate #’s differently when you get stuck in the #30 ball. https://t.co/k7J6vCAxYL— Jeff Okudah (@jeffokudah) April 8, 2021
And onto the rest of your notes.
- The Detroit Free Press’ Carlos Monarrez takes an in-depth look at how Michigan sports fans have coped with not being able to attend games, featuring Lions diehard Ron Crackman.
- Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman has been doing this great meet the prospect profile. His latest — quarterback Justin Fields.
- Another one of these lists that offers painful reminders for Lions fans — Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay suggests every NFL team’s worst draft pick.
- Get pumped — the Lions put together a smash up of defensive lineman Michael Brockers’ greatest hits.
- Grant Gordon for NFL.com takes a look at the NFC North’s roster resets, and where each team sits as of today.