Andy Isabella has a new look, and it goes beyond his hair -- grown out from the buzzcut he featured as a rookie -- and his physique -- he has clearly been in the weight room since last year. It's his number, and it's a recent development.
Isabella is now wearing No. 17, a change that didn't occur until Tuesday night. He had been wearing his normal No. 89, a number that in itself had provided him some internal conversation as a rookie. Why move to 17? It doesn't have a deep backstory. "I just felt like it," Isabella acknowledged.
In college, Isabella wore the No. 23 his first three years and then No. 5 as a senior. Last season, 17 was the number for fellow 2019 draft pick Hakeem Butler, but when No. 18 was still open after the season, Butler made that switch after wearing it in college.
It's been the trend in the NFL and on the Cardinals to stick with the teens as a wide receiver. Isabella had been the first Cardinal receiver to wear a number in the 80s on the 53-man roster since Early Doucet in 2012. Right now, the only receivers on the roster in the 80s are A.J. Richardson (No. 83) and Andre Patton (No. 84).