Within the next month the NFL will look to vote on a rule change that would allow position and defensive players to wear single digit numbers. Many times you’ll see a college wide receiver wear a single digit number, that ends when they become a pro. With the possible rule change it could lift strict rules and allow players to have more freedom choosing their numbers.
As of right now wide receivers can wear 10-19 and 80-89. Running backs and defensive backs are slotted 20-49. Tight ends can be numbers 40-49 and 80-89; and linebackers 40-59 and 90-99. With a rule change first reported by Peter King, all of this would be a thing of the past.
First brought to attention by the Kansas City Chiefs because they were simply running out of numbers to use at times last season.
On the Cleveland Browns roster Odell Beckham Jr. is one that could go to a single digit number. Beckham wore #3 at LSU and possibly could go back to that. The number three comes off as a smoother look and possibly more marketable, though OBJ has had no problem getting #13 out there.
Some players will take into account that fans have already bought jerseys with their current numbers and won’t switch. Buffalo Bills wideout Stefon Diggs said he won’t switch numbers, since fans have used their hard earned money buying jerseys.
The rule will keep offensive lineman wearing numbers 50-79 likely, to help officials know who is eligible on each play and who isn’t. Otherwise loosening the number restrictions makes plenty of sense and allows the players more freedom, how it should be.