Restrictions on number of NFL jerseys could change for running backs, receivers, tight ends, linebackers, defensive backs

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• There are only four single-digit numbers currently available with the Bears: Numbers 1, 4, 6 and 8. Numbers 5 and 7 have been retired to honor Hall of Fame members George McAfee and George Halas , respectively, while numbers 2 and 9 belong to kicker Cairo Santos and quarterback Nick Foles respectively.

Safety Eddie Jackson, who has worn number 39 since joining the Bears in 2017, is reportedly a candidate for number 4, the number he wore in Alabama.

Interestingly, number 7 was worn by two Bears Hall of Famers: Halas (1920-29) and defensive end Ed Sprinkle, who is expected to be inducted posthumously this year.

The last Bears to wear No. 1, 4 and 6 were kicker Cody Parkey in 2018, quarterback Chase Daniel in 2018-19, and quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2017, respectively.

• The new rule would allow linebacker Danny Trevathan to go from Number 59 – the number he wore in his nine NFL seasons with the Broncos (2012-15) and Bears (2016-20) – to number 22, the number he had in Kentucky. Of course, Trevathan should probably “buy” the number for Bears cornerback Kindle Vildor, a 2020 fifth-round pick from Georgia Southern who wore No.22 last year as a rookie.

A rigid numbering system did not exist in the NFL until 1973, which is why Bears Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman was able to wear the No.42 in the 1940s, the running back Hall of Fame Red Grange was allowed to don No.77 in the 1920s and 1930s etc.

A handful of changes have been made since 1973, the most notable of which was in 2004, when receivers were allowed to carry numbers in the 10-19 range. Last season, the Bears’ top three receivers all wore numbers in that range: Robinson (12), Mooney (11) and Miller (17).


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