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Players Might Have A Chance To Change Their (Uniform) Digits

Potential rule change could allow more positions with a single-digit number

The NFL put out the potential rules/regulation changes that will be voted on by the owners at a meeting later in the spring, and many of them, while intriguing, have been mentioned before: Changing overtime back to sudden death (with changes to the coin toss); allowing a 4th-and-15 situation in lieu of an onside kick; putting a sky judge upstairs as an eighth official; and eliminating overtime in preseason (which seems like a slam dunk, IMO.)

But one change, proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs, is a new one. It would alter the uniform numbering system at most positions. If it went through, the most noticeable part? Running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs could all wear single digits, which would be a pretty big deal for some of these stars who have done so in college.

So, if the rule change came to pass, the uniform number ranges for each position:

  • QB, P, K 1-19
  • DB 1-49
  • RB, FB, TE, H-back, WR 1-49, 80-89
  • OL 50-79
  • DL 50-79, 90-99
  • LB 1-59, 90-99

I keep thinking of Adrian Wilson once sporting the No. 2 at practice, or Patrick Peterson and/or Tyrann Mathieu choosing No. 7 if they could. Larry Fitzgerald came along about 18 years too early. Isaiah Simmons isn't getting his college No. 11, but who knows, maybe 7 would work. You know, if he wanted to change. (And assuming this would pass.)

West Virginia safety Quincy Wilson, left, misses as Pittsburgh receiver Larry Fitzgerald (I) heads for the end zone for his second touchdown of the day Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002 in Pittsburgh. It wasn't enough as West Virginia defeated Pittsburgh 24-17.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)