NFL rule change allows players to wear No. 0


The NFL is opening the door for an Agent Zero. 

League owners approved the proposal to permit the No. 0 on jerseys for the first time. The proposal came from the Philadelphia Eagles and was passed Tuesday at the annual owners meeting in Phoenix.

One player has already jumped at the chance to claim No. 0. New Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced that he will become the first player in franchise history to sport the number on the field.

Not all NFL players have the chance to wear No. 0. The new rule excludes offensive and defensive linemen.

Here are the new wearable numbers for NFL players by position, with additional digits available for kickers and punters as part of the new rule:

  • Quarterbacks: 0-19
  • Kickers and punters: 0-49 and 90-99
  • Defensive backs: 0-49
  • Running backs, fullbacks, tight ends and wide receivers: 0-49 and 80-89
  • Offensive linemen: 50-79
  • Defensive linemen: 50-79 and 90-99
  • Linebackers: 0-59 and 90-99

The NFL joins the NBA, WNBA and MLB as major American sports leagues to let players wear No. 0. The NHL used to permit the number on the ice, but it banned the number starting with the 1996-97 season since Nos. 0 and 00 confused the league’s digital database.

The NCAA began allowing players to wear No. 0 in 2020, so there are some players in the league today who have already donned the number.

This is the NFL’s second notable change to jersey numbers in recent years. In 2021, the league opened up the rules to give most position groups a chance to wear Nos. 1-49.

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