CINCINNATI — The NFL is considering a rule change that will impact the way the game looks and feels—especially for incoming rookies.
Loosening the restrictions on jersey numbers is something players have been in favor of for years. The proposal would allow wide receivers, defensive backs, linebackers, running backs, fullbacks and tight ends to wear jerseys in the single digits.
That means an incoming rookie like LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase would be able to wear the number 1 with his new team. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith would be allowed to wear the number 6.
Owners will vote on the proposal at the upcoming league meeting.
If passed, the new rule would allow defensive backs and linebackers to wear any number from 1 to 49. Running backs, fullbacks, tight ends and wide receivers could all wear 1 to 49 and 80 to 89.
This wouldn't change for quarterbacks, punters and kickers. They would still be required to wear numbers 1 to 19. Linemen would still wear 50 to 79, and defensive linemen and linebackers could also wear 90 to 99.
It's an interesting wrinkle that could impact the incoming rookie class in a big way.
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