In his free agency introductory press conference, Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. said he will be sporting the No. 0 jersey number for the team in the 2023 season.
“I’m No. 0,” Jones said. “It was a family decision that the kids—I said, ‘What do you want daddy to be?’”
In his first stint with the Lions—back from 2016 to 2020—Jones wore the number 11. He continued to wear that number for the past two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, upon his return to Detroit this season, he did not want to take the number from teammate Kalif Raymond, who has been wearing that number for the Lions in each of the past two seasons.
“I’m not really going to take 11. Kalif is doing it well,” Jones said.
Jones said he didn’t have any history with the number zero but wanted to be the first one to don the number in Detroit.
Despite wanting to be the first, Jones will actually be the second Lions player ever to wear the number zero. As pointed out by the official Lions PR account, fullback Johnny Olszewski wore the zero back in 1961, his only season with the Lions.
The @Lions have only had one player wear #0 in their history, with FB Johnny Olszewski doing so in 1961.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) March 28, 2023
Below are references to Olszewski from the game program between Detroit & Philadelphia on Dec. 17, 1961. pic.twitter.com/4SOMzBujjn
At last week’s owners meeting, the NFL opened up the number zero for the first time in decades. The zero is now available to quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers, linebackers, defensive backs, and both punters and kickers—so pretty much everyone but linemen.