Eagles’ proposal to allow players to wear No. 0 among nine rule-change submissions

By Nick Shook, Around the NFL Writer

The NFL already discarded tradition when it came to jersey numbers, and the Philadelphia Eagles would like to take it one step further.

As part of the league’s annual process of submissions, Philadelphia proposed a rule change that would allow players to wear No. 0 as a jersey number, the league announced Monday in its 2023 playing rules, bylaw and resolution proposals submitted by clubs.

The proposal was one of nine submitted by various teams and would be a progression in a significant change in how jersey numbers are doled out across the league. In 2021, the league approved the Chiefs’ proposal, which loosened the constraints of the league’s numbering system regarding a majority of players, allowing most non-linemen to wear numbers between 1-49, with additional possibilities available depending on position. Adding zero to the mix would theoretically also allow these players to choose that digit, and would mark the first time an NFL player wore No. 0 or 00 as a jersey number since 1981.

Much like the 2021 change, the NFL would be following in the footsteps of college football, where players have been permitted to wear No. 0 since the 2020 season. One notable player — Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd — wore No. 0 while at Utah before switching to 33 in the NFL.

Also included in Philadelphia’s proposal was a change to allow kickers and punters to wear any numeral between 0-49 and 90-99. Currently, kickers and punters are only allowed to wear 1-19.

The number change proposal headlined a group of submissions that also borrows from the XFL as it pertains to retaining possession. Philadelphia submitted a proposal that would permit a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play — fourth-and-20 from the kicking team’s 20-yard line – in place of an onside kick attempt.

The Eagles’ proposals were two of nine submitted to the league’s competition committee for consideration. The remaining seven proposals are:

  • By Los Angeles Chargers; amends Rule 4, Section 6, Article 3 and Section 7, Article 4, to make the adjustment of the play clock following an instant replay reversal consistent with other timing rules.
  • By Detroit Lions; amends Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, to expand the coaches’ challenge system to include personal fouls called on the field.
  • By Detroit; amends Rule 15, Section 1, to provide clubs more opportunities for a third challenge.
  • By Detroit; amends Rule 15, Section 3, to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for consultation regarding penalty assessment.
  • By Houston Texans; amends Rule 15, Section 1, Article 2, to expand the Replay Official’s jurisdiction to allow for review on failed fourth down attempts.
  • By Los Angeles Rams; amends Rule 15, Section 1 and Section 3, to make fouls for Roughing the Passer called on the field subject to replay assist and/or review by a coach’s challenge.
  • By New York Jets; amends Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6, to expand the crackback prohibition to players who go in motion and go beyond the center to block (“split-flow block”) a defender below the waist.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major