Why Can’t NFL Players Wear Number 0?       

By: Nitin Singh

Number 0 is a rare and controversial jersey number in American football.

It is allowed in college football, but not in NFL.

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It was first used by players in the early days of the sport, when there were no rules on jersey numbers.

Some players chose 0 to stand out, express individuality, play multiple positions or have no preference.

Some notable players who wore 0 in the past include Lou Eaton, Obert Logan, Johnny Olszewski and Reb Russell.

In 1973, NFL adopted a new system of jersey numbers based on the player’s position, to make identification easier.

Number 0 was not assigned to any position group, and thus became illegal for NFL players to wear.

The only exception was if a player had worn 0 before the rule change and wanted to keep it, but no player did so.

In 2021, NFL relaxed the jersey number rules and allowed more flexibility for players, in response to confusion and unfair advantages caused by eligible receivers wearing ineligible numbers and vice versa.

Number 0 is still not officially allowed by NFL, but some players have expressed interest in wearing it or have already worn it during preseason games or practices.

Some of these players include Braxton Berrios, Darion Clark and Chris Streveler.

Number double zero (00) was also banned by NFL in 1973 for the same reasons as number zero (0).

The last player to wear double zero in NFL was Jim Otto, who wore it because his last name sounded like “O”.

College football players can wear number zero, and some notable players who have worn it include Jalen Hurts, Penei Sewell and Jalen Ramsey.

Other sports players can wear number zero or forms of zero such as 9, 99 and 30.

Some famous athletes who have worn zero include Russell Westbrook, Aaron Judge, Robert Lewandowski and Martin Brodeur.