April 02, 2021
The Philadelphia Eagles released the list of players' 2021 jersey numbers on Friday, a pre-draft news nugget that rarely registers much excitement.
But this year's crop of new numbers is interesting because presumptive starting quarterback Jalen Hurts is switching from No. 2 to No. 1, which he wore in college at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to that, he wore No. 2 at the University of Alabama and at Channelview High School in suburban Houston.
On a symbolic level, it also reflects Hurts moving to the top of the Eagles quarterback depth chart. Carson Wentz, who wore No. 11 with the Eagles, has switched to No. 2 with the Indianapolis Colts after wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. said he was "locked in" on keeping No. 11.
The Eagles also announced jersey numbers for the following players in the tweet below, who either changed their numbers or are just picking a number since joining the team.
The news comes as the NFL is considering a change in rules for jersey numbers, which historically have been restricted by a player's position.
Under the rule change proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs, the league would allow running backs, receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs to wear single-digit numbers. Defensive backs and linebackers would be allowed to wear any number from 1 to 49. Running backs, fullbacks, tight ends and wide receivers could wear numbers from 1 to 49 and 80 to 89.
The rule change would not impact quarterbacks, punters and kickers — who can only wear numbers between 1 and 19. Offensive linemen would still be restricted to numbers from 50 to 79; defensive linemen could wear numbers from 50 to 79 or between 90 to 99; and linebackers could choose numbers from 1 to 59 or 90 to 99.
Number changes are generally pretty insignificant, unless you happen to own a jersey with a number a player abandons, but maybe Hurts' move to No. 1 will add a little bit of motivation for him.