The photos of the Detroit Lions’ first Organized Team Activity practice are out, and they solve one of the team’s biggest offseason mysteries. Lions’ first-round pick Penei Sewell, who missed rookie minicamp due to a positive COVID-19 test, suited up in a Lions jersey for the first time on the field, finally revealing his jersey number: 58.
That jersey number matches the one he had at Oregon. His timing in the NFL is perfect, as the league recently changed jersey number rules that now allow offensive linemen other than centers to wear jersey numbers in the 50-59 range. Previously, guards and tackles were only permitted to wear numbers between 60-79.
Of course, Sewell assuming the number 58 begs another question: What number will linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. wear in 2021? Last year Collins sported the number 58, but because of the new NFL rules he’ll be able to change wear any number between 10-59 (or 90-99). He’s also previously worn numbers 51 in Cleveland (currently held by Jahlani Tavai) and 91 (held by John Penisini last year).
But before you go out buying a Sewell 58 jersey, remember that all of this is subject to change. Players often change jersey numbers after cutdowns are made in August, and nothing is official from the team yet. He is still numberless on the Lions website and they’re still selling generic No. 1 jerseys in the team store. All that being said, signs point to Sewell keeping his college number at the NFL level.