Why Can't Players Wear The Number 0 In the NFL?

Published on February 28th, 2023 3:33 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Number 0 or 00 on NFL Jerseys.  In photo: Jim Otto is one of the famous players that wore it. In 1973, the NFL introduced a standardized numbering system for their players.

Players were allowed to keep their current numbers, though any new players in the league were allowed to pick from a small amount of jersey numbers, depending on their position.

Jim Otto, for instance, who wore 00, was allowed to keep his number for the rest of his career.


In 2021, the NFL expanded the numbers that were available to each position. Here are the current groupings:

QB - 1-19
RB/TE/WR - 1-19, 20-49, 80-89
OL - 50-59, 60-79
DL - 50-59, 60-79, 90-99
LB - 1-19, 20-49, 50-59, 90-99
DB - 1-19, 20-49
K/P - 1-19

So, if you are a quarterback, you are only allowed to pick a jersey number between 1 and 19. If you want to wear the number #25, for instance, you are out of luck.


As you can see, there is no option for either the 0 or 00 jersey numbers.

Other leagues, such as the NBA, allow its players to choose 0 or 00.

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles petitioned the NFL to start allowing players to choose the 0 or 00 number for their jerseys.

It's unknown if the NFL will be willing to include these numbers into their standardized numbering system.


Some of the NFL players that wore 0 or 00 before the standardized rules were introduced includes Johnny Clement, Jim Otto and Johnny Olszewski, to name a few.

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