Football is a numbers game.
On April 21, the NFL approved a new rule that relaxes certain groups of positions with certain field numbers, which means you’re going to see a lot of awesome new numbers associated with certain groups of field positions.
In previous seasons, only quarterbacks, kickers and punters were allowed to wear single digit numbers, but that is now a thing of the past with the new NFL rule. In fact, more hunt groups than not are allowed to carry these single-digit numbers in the future.
While fans of the varsity game are familiar with players wearing single digit numbers, it’s not something that was allowed in the NFL rulebook – until now.
Here’s how players will dress in the future:
NFL jersey numbers
The NFL relaxing its rules means some groups can now choose to wear single-digit jersey numbers. Previously, only quarterbacks, bettors and kickers could have a single digit. Now that has been expanded to include tight ends, wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs.
Here’s how it breaks down:
|Station group||Number of options|
|Ball carriers||1-49, 80-89|
|Wide receivers||1-49, 80-89|
|Tight ends||1-49, 80-90|
|Defensive line||50-79, 90-99|
The quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and bettor number ranges remain the same. Linebackers, defensive backs, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs can all now wear uniform single-digit numbers.
Players change jersey number
If a player wants to change his uniform number for the 2021 season, it will come at a cost: Under current NFL jersey manufacturing rules, a player will have to buy back the existing allocation of jerseys bearing his current number.
If a player wishes to change their number for the 2022 NFL season, then they will need to give notice, but will not have to purchase the current uniform inventory.
Under NFL rules, if a player wishes to change their number THIS SEASON, they will have to buy back the existing inventory from jersey distributors.
If he wants to give notice now to change his number NEXT SEASON, there would be no obligation to redeem the inventory. https://t.co/XvduiMgSw3
– Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) April 21, 2021
Meaning: Don’t be surprised if most players wait until 2022 to change their uniform numbers.
There are, however, a number of players who have already shown interest in changing the numbers:
Jalen Ramsey, Rams
Ramsey wore two numbers in college: # 13 and # 8. On April 21, Ramsey tweeted an emoji of himself in light of the news, potentially indicating that he wanted a new number.
Robert Woods, Rams
Robert Woods, who wore number 2 in college with USC, currently wears number 17 for the Rams. He recently announced he would be back.
Tyrann Mathieu, chefs
With LSU, the KC DB was number 7. He stepped into the news, saying he would only focus on the numbers that matter. Could this mean that there is no point in changing from # 32? Probably.
I only focus on the numbers that matter.
– Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 21, 2021
Derrick Henry, Titans
Henry recently showed his approval for the league to move towards more than one number. Henry wore number 2 in college and doubles the number in the NFL (# 22).
Simple numbers are cool and all, but can we bring the jerseys and helmets back? Someone applied for that lol.
– îDerrick Henry î½î (@ KingHenry_2) April 9, 2021
Derwin James, loaders
James spent time with Florida State wearing number 3, before moving to number 33 with Los Angeles. He thought it might have been an April Fool’s Day joke originally, but we’ll see how serious he is about it now that the rule is over.