New NFL jersey numbers, explained: What to know about league’s rule change for 2021


Football is a game of numbers.

On April 21, the NFL approved a new rule which relaxes certain position groups wearing certain numbers on the field, meaning you’re going to see a lot new funky numbers associated with certain position groups on the field.

In prior seasons, only quarterbacks, kickers and punters were allowed to wear single digits, but that’s now a thing of the past with the NFL’s new rule. In fact, more position groups than not are allowed to wear those single digit numbers moving into the future.

While fans of the college game are familiar with players wearing single digits, it’s not something that’s been allowed in the NFL rulebook — until now.

NFL jersey numbers

The NFL relaxing its rules means there are certain groups who can now opt to wear single-digit jersey numbers. Previously, only quarterbacks, punters and kickers could have single digits. Now, that’s been expanded to include tight ends, wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Position group Number options
Quarterbacks 1-19
Running backs 1-49, 80-89
Wide receivers 1-49, 80-89
Tight ends 1-49, 80-90
Offensive line 50-79
Defensive line 50-79, 90-99
Linebackers 1-59, 90-99
Defensive backs 1-49
Kickers 1-19
Punters 1-19

The quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and punter number brackets remain the same. Linebackers, defensive backs, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs can all wear single-digit uniform numbers now, as well.

Players changing jersey numbers

If a player wants to change his uniform number for the 2021 season, it’s going to cost him: Under the NFL’s current jersey manufacturing rules, a player will have to buy out the existing allotment of jerseys featuring their current number.

If a player wants to change his number for the 2022 NFL season, then he’ll have to give notice, but won’t have to buy the current uniform inventory.

Meaning: Don’t be surprised if most players wait until 2022 to change their uniform number.

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 No. 2 in college with USC, currently wears No. 17 for the Rams. He recently said he would come back.

Tyrann Mathieu, chefs

Along with LSU, the KC DB wore No.7. He rang the news, saying he “would only focus on the numbers that matter.” Would it not mean any interest to switch from n ° 32? Probably.

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Janice Hill

Janice is a Co-Founder of NetDebaito Official & a family member of Brit Media 360. Our News HUB aiming to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific viewpoint for each story catered. Every project is a proficient journalisms' who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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