What number will Mark Ingram wear? C.J. Gardner-Johnson: ‘Let the bidding begin’

·2 min read

Well that’s interesting. That’s very interesting. The New Orleans Saints brought Mark Ingram back to town in a trade with the Houston Texans on Wednesday afternoon, and beyond the boring questions — how many touches will he get, what did the Saints give up, and can Brandin Cooks come with him? — we’ve got to focus on one very, very important issue: what jersey number is he going to wear?

Ingram initially chose No. 28 during his two years with the Saints, finally getting his preferred No. 22 (which he wore to great success in college at Alabama, where he won the Heisman Trophy) in 2014. And he never changed it again until the Baltimore Ravens signed him in 2019, at which point he switched to No. 21. When the Houston Texans added him in free agency this offseason, he took advantage of the relaxed NFL jersey rules to pick No. 2.

But all of those numbers are taken already. Jameis Winston is obviously sporting No. 2. Bradley Roby owns No. 21. C.J. Gardner-Johnson has stuck with No. 22 after considering a very bold move to No. 1, “the Uno,” that ultimately went to Marquez Callaway, in the offseason. No. 28 belongs to backup running back Devine Ozigbo, and that feels like the safe bet. In-season jersey changes are rare, but they do happen, and a little-known reserve player being the one to move off his number would make the most sense.

Or it did until Gardner-Johnson tweeted, “Let the bidding begin…” shortly after the Ingram trade was reported. Hey, that could be about anything. But he’s probably publicly suggesting he’s open to offers if Ingram wants to buy the number from him. That’s common practice during the offseason. How’s that for a fun storyline to keep up with?

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