“Agent Zero” took college football by storm the last couple of seasons. Now the same can be said in the NFL.
On Tuesday, the NFL owners officially approved the proposal presented by the Philadelphia Eagles to allow players to wear #0. The digit will be available for every position group except for offensive and defensive linemen, according to this Tom Pelissero tweet.
Along with allowing various players at different positions to wear #0, the rule change allows kickers and punters to expand their choice of jersey numbers, going from 1-19 to 0-49 and 90-99.
The NFL used to allow players to wear #00, like Hall of Fame C Jim Otto did during his heyday with the Raiders, but now players will be able to rock the single digit. That means players like West Virginia WR Bryce-Ford Wheaton, Georgia TE Darnell Washington, and Oklahoma RB Eric Gray can continue to rock their college numbers if no one else claims it first on the respective teams that draft them.
And long ago, the Steelers had a player sport the number in Johnny “Zero” Clement.
Already, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced WR Calvin Ridley will wear #0 this season.
Along with the rule change in numbers, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport just tweeted that the proposal to make roughing the passing reviewable was not approved. Plenty of controversy stemmed from last season when there were several “questionable” roughing the passer penalties. They were called on defenders hitting the QB with minimal impact but still drew the flag likely in attempt by the league to protect the game’s most important position.
This caused quite the talking point with players and fans alike, sparking the desire to make the penalty at least reviewable. However, to likely prevent the same situation that occurred when making pass interference reviewable a couple of seasons ago, the league turned down the proposal.
Pelissero followed up with a long list of rules the league passed. Officials can now automatically review failed fourth downs, essentially being treated like turnovers since they are turnovers on downs; a modification of the tiebreaker system, and for there to be only one cutdown between the beginning of training camp and the final cuts to 53. Last year, there were multiple cutdowns. Essentially, rosters will go from 90 to 53 in one day, August 29th.
You can read all the passed rules and bylaws below.
The “Brock Purdy Rule” proposal to allow teams to have a designated emergency quarterback who wouldn’t count against the gameday roster has been tabled.