New single-digit jersey rule approved by NFL owners

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Bryan Manning
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For years, the NFL had a stringent policy on jersey numbers. Only quarterbacks, kickers and punters could wear single-digit numbers. Now, thanks to a proposal by the Kansas City Chiefs, that is no longer the case, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

The Chiefs proposed the rule change earlier this offseason to increase the “flexibility in assigning jersey numbers.”

Kansas City, which has 10 jerseys retired — and another unofficially retired — ran into an issue in 2020 of not having enough usable jersey numbers.

Here is a look at what positions can wear which numbers under the new rule:

  • QB/P/K: 1-19

  • RB: 1–49, 80-89

  • TE/FB: 1–49, 80-89

  • WR: 10-19, 80-89

  • OL: 50-79

  • DL: 50-79, 90-99

  • LB: 1–59, 90–99

  • DB: 1–49

This new rule will allow several former college stars to possibly wear the jersey they wore in college. Or, veteran players like Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey could switch back to the single-digit number he wore in college.

How does the new rule impact the Washington Football Team? The most notable former college star on Washington’s roster who wore a single-digit number is Chase Young. Unfortunately, Young is a defensive end and can’t switch back to his former No. 2 jersey.

That’s unfortunate. Imagine how many No. 2 jerseys the team could sell with Young’s name on the back.

While this will help teams with an abundance of jerseys that are retired — or semi-retired, it will also be a big hit with players and fans.