NFL to allow players to wear jersey No. 0

Players like Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley will join NFL legend in wearing No. 0



Calvin Ridley will be the first player to wear No. 0 with the new rules.

GABE KAIJA, Evergreen reporter

For the first time since the ‘80s, the NFL approved a rule change on March 28 to allow players to sport No. 0 on their chest. 

This comes after the league allowed numbers traditionally reserved for quarterbacks and specialists, most notably single-digit numbers, to be worn by a wider range of positions. While the rule change received some backlash from guys like Tom Brady, the NFL continues to push to expand the rule’s limits.

The NFL now follows closely in the footsteps of the NCAA, as they passed a similar rule prior to the 2020 football season. There have been a handful of notable players who have worn a goose egg on their jersey in college but were forced to change after being drafted, such as Patriots defensive back Jack Jones and Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd.

Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley was the first player to announce they would change their jersey number to zero. The Falcons recently traded Ridley to Jacksonville after he missed the entirety of the 2022 season because of suspension. Not only does Ridley become the first player to wear the number following the rule change, but he is also the first Jaguar to ever wear it.

Even though some newer organizations like the Jaguars, who only joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995, have yet to have a player dawn No. 0, there have been some NFL greats who have worn it. While there may only be a handful of them, the list is headlined by Jim Otto, former all-pro center for the Oakland Raiders.

Technically, Otto wore No. 00, but he made such an impact that he has to be included. Otto played 15 seasons in Oakland, accruing 12 All-Star game appearances, 12 straight All-league selections and a Super Bowl II appearance. He did all of this while not missing a single one of his 308 games in the NFL, a feat that is rarely seen in today’s game. Because of his excellence, Otto was enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1980.

The new rule change in the NFL has stirred excitement among players and fans, similar to the effect of the previous jersey number rule change.

Jones, who wore No. 0 for two seasons at Arizona State, tweeted “donut” after news of the rule change first came out.

It will be interesting to see which other NFL stars decide to make the switch to the newly available number. There are numerous players in the NFL, even draft prospects like Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who wore No. 0 in college and could continue to wear it in the pros.