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NFL expected to pass rule allowing skill players to wear single-digit jersey numbers

According to NBC Sports' Peter King, the NFL is expected to pass a new rule allowing skill players to wear single-digit jersey numbers.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns -- and NFL -- fans everywhere might notice a change to some of their favorite players' jerseys next season.

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According to NBC Sports' Peter King, the NFL's owners are expected to pass a rule increasing the availability of jersey numbers that players can wear.

Under the league's current rules, players are limited to the jersey numbers they can wear based on what position they play. For example, running backs are only eligible to wear jersey numbers 20-49, while wide receivers are limited to 10-19 and 80-89.

But under a new proposal made by the Kansas City Chiefs, these ranges would increase dramatically and allow positions including wide receiver, running back, tight end, linebacker and defensive back to wear single-digit jersey numbers, as they are permitted to do at the college level. Per King, the following jersey number ranges would go into effect for the 2021 season:

  • Quarterback, punter, kicker: 1-19
  • Running back, tight end, wide receiver: 1-49, 80-89
  • Defensive back: 1-49
  • Linebacker: 1-59, 90-99
  • Offensive line: 50-79
  • Defensive line: 50-79, 90-99

According to King, the Chiefs made the proposal, which is expected to pass later this month, to help prevent teams from running out of numbers or using retired numbers with practice squads having expanded.

While the rule has yet to go into effect, it already appears to be popular among players. Taking to Twitter, Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson called dibs on wearing the No. 1 jersey, while Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku appears to have his sights set on the No. 5.

Could other players like Odell Beckham Jr. -- who wore No. 3 at LSU before changing to No. 13 in the NFL -- follow suit? It appears we may not have to wait long to find out.

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