MINNEAPOLIS - Wide receivers across the National Football League have some decisions to make on jersey numbers after the league’s competition committee passed a new rule on Wednesday.
Running backs, tight ends, H backs and wide receivers can now wear any jersey number between Nos. 1-49, and 80-89. It remains to be seen how that might affect the Minnesota Vikings, but at least one wide receiver says he has no plans to change his number.
Justin Jefferson, who had a standout rookie season with the Vikings and would likely have been the NFL Rookie of the Year if not for Justin Herbert, said Thursday on social media he’s keeping his No. 18 jersey for at least the 2021 season.
"Since I keep getting this question I’m just going to clarify it now… I am not switching my number to 2. I’m staying with 18," Jefferson tweeted.
Jefferson wore the No. 2 at LSU and won a national title with the Tigers in his final season before declaring for the NFL Draft. The Vikings took Jefferson with the No. 22 overall pick last year after trading Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for multiple draft picks.
Wearing No. 18 as a rookie, Jefferson emerged last season as one of the top young receivers in the NFL. He set rookie receiving records with the Vikings, making 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. His receptions and yardage both eclipsed Randy Moss’s mark in 1998.
A quick look at the Vikings roster shows no receiver with a jersey number in the single digits. Chad Beebe wears No. 12, K.J. Osborn wears No. 17 and Adam Thielen has No. 19. The current players with single digit jersey numbers are quarterbacks – Jake Browning (3), Nate Stanley (7) and Kirk Cousins (8).
Vikings defensive back Cameron Dantzler posted to social media on Thursday he's not switching from No. 27.
Dantzler, a third round pick last year by the Vikings, battled injuries and played in 11 games as a rookie. He finished with 46 tackles, four passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.