NFL owners have approved a rule change that would allow more players to wear single-digit numbers, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer.
The rule change, which was initially proposed by the Chiefs, would allow running backs, tight ends and wide receivers to wear any number from one to 49 as well as 80–89. Defensive backs will also now be permitted to wear numbers 1–49 while linebackers can wear jerseys between 1-59 and 90-99.
The league's new number ranges are as followed:
Quarterback, punter, kicker: 1–19
Running back: 1–49, 80–89
Defensive back: 1–49
Linebacker: 1–59, 90–99
Offensive lineman: 50–79
Defensive lineman: 50–79, 90–99
Kansas City didn't propose the rule change for purely aesthetic reasons, according to NBC Sports' Peter King, who first reported news of the proposal. The Chiefs reportedly ran into a shortage of available numbers in the 20–49 range last season, with Nos. 28, 33, 36 and 37 all retired by the franchise. With the newly expanded jersey ranges, franchises are unlikely to run into a similar issue at any point in the coming seasons.
Multiple current NFL stars wore single digits in college, including Odell Beckham Jr., Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey.