New NFL Rule Likely to Pass Allowing Skill Players to Wear Single-Digit Jerseys
Your favorite NFL player may be doing a jersey swap next season.
I'm not talking about the post-game tradition between players where they literally exchange jerseys with one another. This is a proposed rule change that the NFL will be voting on soon after it was brought to the table by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs actually brought the issue to the table because they were actually running out of numbers last season.
Single-digit numbers on skill players is a common sight in college football and this change could mean new players coming into the league will be able to keep their number when they level up to the pros. But would current players swap their double-digit numbers for a single-digit alternative?
Under the current rules, specific positions can wear the following numbers:
Wide receivers: 10-19 and 80-89
Running backs and defensive backs: 20-49
Tight ends: 40-49 and 80-89
Linebackers: 40-59 and 90-99
With the newly proposed rule, we could see these restrictions become a thing of the past, but will current players make the switch? Some speculate that players like Odell Beckham Jr. could make the swap back to their college single-digit number for marketing purposes.
Other players have already confirmed they won't be swapping numbers if the rule changes. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs stated he wouldn't be making a switch citing fans who have spent their "hard-earned money" buying his jersey.
Meanwhile, there were players who hated the idea altogether.
Some brought up the fact that the rule swap could be too little too late for players like Reggie Bush who famously wore number 5 at USC, but had to settle for wearing number 25 with the New Orleans Saints.
The only players who are left out of the potential single-digit fun will be the big guys up front on offense. The numbers 50-79 will be required for offensive lineman as a way for officials to easily know "who's eligible on each play and who isn't."
Could we see some Saints players making the swap? Michael Thomas in his Ohio State number?
Will AK41 go back to his Tennessee number 6?
I wouldn't bank on it, but I'm excited to see how this looks on the field if it goes through.