NFL Approves Proposal To Reduce Restrictions On Jersey Numbers

According to multiple reports, NFL owners approved a proposal on Wednesday afternoon that will allow running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs to wear a new range of numbers moving forward, including single digits.

The amendment to Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2 of the NFL rulebook was proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs after they ran out of usable numbers last season.

The previous numbering system only allowed for running backs and defensive backs to wear 20-49; wide receivers to wear 10-19 and 80-89; tight ends 40-49 and 80-89; and linebackers 40-59 and 90-99. But now running backs, wide receivers and tight ends can wear 1-49 or 80-89, defensive backs can wear 1-49 and linebackers can wear 1-59 or 90-99. 

Quarterbacks, punters and kickers, meanwhile, will still be required to wear 1-19, lineman will still wear 50-79 and defensive linemen will still wear 90-99.

Some notable players who the rule change could impact include: 

  • Los Angeles Rams wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who wore No. 1 at California
  • Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who wore No. 1 at Maryland
  • Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who wore No. 2 at Alabama
  • New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who wore No. 2 at Ohio State
  • Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who wore No. 3 at LSU
  • Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, who wore No. 3 at Florida State
  • New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, who wore No. 3 at Ohio State
  • Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who wore No. 6 at Clemson
  • New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who wore No. 6 at Tennessee
  • Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, who wore No. 7 at LSU
  • Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who wore No. 8 at Florida State
  • Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb, who wore No. 8 at North Carolina State
  • Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who wore No. 11 at Clemson
  • Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who wore No. 15 at Ohio State

That said, NFL rules stipulate that any player who wants to switch his number for the upcoming season will be required to buy out the existing inventory of his previous jersey from league distributors. If he waits until next year, though, there would be no requirement.

Photo courtesy of @Titans on Twitter.