|Player Numbers by Position|
(NFL Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4)
All players must wear numerals on their jerseys in accordance with Rule 5, Section 3, Article 3c (see NOTE 1), and such numerals must be by playing position as follows: quarterbacks, punters, and placekickers, 1-19 (and 10-19 for wide receivers if 80-89 are all otherwise assigned); running backs and defensive backs, 20-49; centers, 50-59 (60-79 if 50-59 unavailable); offensive guards and tackles, 60-79; wide receivers and tight ends, 80-89; defensive lineman, 60-79 (90-99 if 60-79 unavailable); and linebackers 50-59 (90-99 if 50-59 unavailable).
If a player changes his position during his playing career in the NFL and such change moves him out of a category specified above, he must be issued an appropriate new jersey number.
Any request to wear a number for a special position not specified above (e.g., H-back) must be made to the Commissioner.
During the preseason period when rosters are larger, the League will allow duplication and other temporary deviations from the numbering scheme specified above, but the rule must be adhered to for all players during the regular season and postseason. Clubs must make numbers available to adhere to the rule, even if it requires putting back into circulation a number that has been retired or withheld for other reasons. See 7-2-3 for reporting change of position. (Note 2)
- 5, 3, 3c has to do with the size and placement of the numerals
- 7, 2, 3 rules regarding notifying the referee of eligibility if wearing and ineligible number for a position. Basically, any player wearing an eligible number at a pass receiving position (running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers) can play any eligible pass receiving position without reporting to the referee. That is, running backs can line up as wide receivers or tight ends, and players wearing wide receiver and/or tight end numbers can line up in the backfield without having to report to the referee.
QB, P, K