NFL loosens jersey number restrictions with new rule

Tyler Nettuno and James Johnson
·2 min read

On Wednesday, NFL owners had yet another meeting to address and approve a few rule changes. Among the ones that were approved was the league’s jersey number rule, which opens up the amount of available numbers a player can wear on the field.

Before the approval, NFL players were strictly limited on potential jersey numbers based on their respective positions. Now, the restrictions have been loosened which will likely lead to a lot of number changes, most notably at running back, defensive back and linebacker.

Coming into the meeting, quarterbacks were only allowed to wear the numbers 1-19, and that will continue to be the case. However, the rule change does allow running backs, who were limited to numbers 20-49, to also wear numbers 1-19. They are also now allowed to wear numbers 80-89. Defensive backs, who were also limited to numbers 20-49, are now permitted to wear Nos. 1-19, as well.

Meanwhile, linebackers see the biggest expanse in options. They were previously limited to Nos. 40-59 and 90-99, but now they will be allowed to additionally wear any jersey number from one to 39.

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With the new rule change now official, it seems very likely at this point that we will see single-digit linebackers, running backs and defensive backs in 2021. As a result, business should be booming at your local sportswear store and online NFL retailers as many of the league’s stars will jump on the opportunity for a change.