Why Kyle Van Noy is keeping Patriots jersey number despite rule change

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Why Van Noy is keeping Pats jersey number despite this temptation originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

NFL owners passed a rule change Wednesday that seemed to be of particular interest to Kyle Van Noy.

The league relaxed restrictions on which jersey numbers players can wear. Most notably, offensive skill position players and defensive backs now can wear Nos. 1 through 49 and 80 through 89, while linebackers can choose from No. 1 to 59 and 90 to 99.

That means Van Noy can return to the No. 3 he wore in college as a standout at BYU, a switch the Patriots linebacker apparently was interested in as he returned to New England this offseason.

More Patriots who could change jersey number under new rule

Alas, Van Noy confirmed Wednesday on Twitter he's sticking with No. 53.

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Van Noy suggested he's doing fans who already purchased his jersey a solid by keeping No. 53. He's worn the number every year in the NFL since his rookie season with the Detroit Lions, so maybe he's grown to like his digits.

He also played the best football of his career wearing No. 53 in New England, winning two Super Bowls with the Patriots during his first stint with the team from 2016 to 2019.

But if the 30-year-old linebacker decides to change his mind, No. 3 is there for the taking: Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was the last Patriot to wear No. 3 in 2019.