NFL Makes Big Decision on Jerseys for 2023 Season
The NFL just made a big move for the 2023 season. During the annual league meetings on Tuesday, the NFL voted to allow players other than offensive and defensive linemen to wear the jersey number zero. The Philadelphia Eagles were the team to submit the proposal, and the move also allows kickers to use any jersey between 0-49 and 90-99, according to ESPN.
"I don't think there was any discussion, and we voted. As someone who works for a team, we have real challenges in the number world right now," Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons CEO and chairman of the NFL's competition committee, said in a statement. "This is one thing that could help us in that challenge because we do have some players that tend to like the single digit. Numbers are more problematic than they've ever been, so this one had very little pushback."
Calvin Ridley is going to wear 0 for the Jaguars 🔥— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 28, 2023
The new rule allows quarterbacks to choose from numbers 0-19; defensive backs 0-49; fullbacks, tight ends, halfbacks and wide receivers 0-49 and 80-89; linebackers 0-59 and 90-99. Offensive linemen remain relegated to 50-79, while defensive linemen can wear 50-79 and 90-99, per NFL.com. This comes two years after the league allowed non-lineman to wear numbers 1-49.
Per AL.com, No. 0 was ruled as an ineligible number in the NFL in 1973. The last player to wear No. 0 in an NFL regular season game was safety Nobert Logan who had the number on his jersey while playing for the New Orleans Saints in 1967. Former NFL players Jim Otto and Ken Burrough wore No. 00 in 1974 and 1981, respectively. They would wear that number when the standardization rules were passed.
One current NFL player who will wear No. 0 is Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley who was reinstated back in the league after being suspended for the entire 2022 season. In a tweet, Ridley said he's "excited to be the first Jaguars player to wear zero."
The decision led to some interesting reactions on social media. One person wrote, "I'm going to guess that there will be at least 20 more players with 0 for a number this year. I won't be surprised if there is a 0 on each team actually before week 1 of the season."
Another person wrote: "Calvin Ridley is breaking boundaries and paving the way for future players. Can't wait to see him rock that number 0 on the field!"