If you’re a big Jeff Okudah fan, you knew this day was coming. The Detroit Lions’ second-year cornerback has made it pretty obvious that he wants to undergo a jersey number change from his rookie season, in which he sported the number 30. Well, it looks like that’s happening very soon.
As first pointed out by Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire, the Detroit Lions appear to be selling a Jeff Okudah jersey with the number 23 on it.
While this number change has not yet been confirmed by the team—his number remains 30 on the Lions’ official website—there are many reasons to believe this will be Okudah’s new number. For one, team president Rod Wood said earlier this week that Okudah has been around the Lions’ facility all offseason, suggesting he’s been in constant contact with the team.
“He’s in on a regular basis and I think he feels energized about the new coaching staff as well as a number of the other players, too,” Wood said.
Moreover, we know that Okudah had reached out to Darius Slay prior to being drafted and the two have, at the very least, a friendly relationship. Perhaps it’s no coincidence, then, that Okudah and Slay both started out with the number 30 before transitioning to the number 23.
But if you have an itchy trigger finger this Easter Sunday, one word of warning before you go purchasing your next Lions jersey of the next five years. The Kansas City Chiefs proposed a rule change this year that would give cornerbacks—who can currently only wear numbers between 20 and 49—the opportunity to wear numbers between 1-19. Okudah wore number 1 in college and high school. Also, don’t forget that the Lions could be making some uniform changes as early as next year.
UPDATE: This seems like a pretty sure thing now:
Back Like 23. pic.twitter.com/B9ixqGZFME— Jeff Okudah (@jeffokudah) April 4, 2021