The National Football League entered a new frontier on Wednesday when they passed a rule proposal from the Kansas City Chiefs. Welcome to a world where most players can wear numbers in the single digits.
Let’s be clear about something here. We are talking about jersey numbers which are ultimately a trivial thing, however we are all football fans and big ones at that, so we care about tiny details like this.
Here is an updated standing on which numbers each position group can now wear. Defensive backs, running backs, and linebackers are among those who can wear single-digit numbers. Previously the option was only available for quarterbacks, kickers, and punters.
Under the new rule, players will be able to wear ...— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 21, 2021
Defensive backs: 1–49
Running backs, full backs, tight ends, H-backs, and wide receivers: 1–49 and 80-89
Offensive linemen: 50–79;
Defensive linemen: 50–79 and 90–99;
Linebackers: 1–59 and 90–99. https://t.co/EhTnOVX7RJ
You will also note that running backs, tight ends, and h-backs can also now wear numbers in the 80s. Things are getting wild in the National Football League, clearly.
In all seriousness, this idea has been something that a number of Cowboys players have expressed interest towards doing. A lot of prominent players wore single-digit numbers in college and oftentimes they are/were numbers that mean something to them. When rumors of this first being a possibility started to fly around, Jaylon Smith hinted that he would like to switch to number 9.
Other Cowboys players also sounded off on this on social media. CeeDee Lamb hinted that he’d like to return to number 2, Amari Cooper said he would consider number 1, Michael Gallup posted about his college number in 4, and Ezekiel Elliott teased a return to 15 which he wore at The Ohio State University.
If any Cowboys veteran does want to switch numbers beginning this season it is going to cost them a pretty penny to do so. According to NFL rules, they would have to buy out the existing inventory of their current jerseys that are out and available.
Per NFL rules, if a player wants to change his number THIS SEASON, he would have to buy out the existing inventory of jersey distributors.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) April 21, 2021
If he wants to give notice now to change his number NEXT SEASON, there would be no requirement to buy out inventory. https://t.co/XvduiMgSw3
Perhaps the incoming rookie class will be among the first to be able to wear single-digit numbers then. Patrick Surtain II could wear number 2 if he so chose or Jaycee Horn could rock number 1.
By the way here is an update on all of the rules that were approved.
Approved 2021 Playing Rules and Bylaws: pic.twitter.com/p8X5sTNoGN— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2021
Hurry up, NFL season.