AP story incorrect
NFL rules state that receivers can wear #80-89 AND #10-19, not just when the #80s are filled up.
For example, when Matt Jones joined the Jaguars last year, he wore #18 - all season - and in fact, Ernest Wilford wore #19 and Reggie Williams wore #11. However, here were their players in the 80s:
80 - Kyle Brady, TE
81 - FREE
82 - Jimmy Smith, WR
83 - Todd Yoder, TE (I.R.)
84 - Chad Owens, WR
85 - Cortez Hankton, WR
86 - FREE
87 - George Wrighster, TE
88 - Joe Zelenka, TE
89 - FREE
Or, as the article uses as an example, when Quincy Morgan joined the Steelers last year and wore #11:
80 - Cedrick Wilson, WR
81 - Sean Morey, WR
82 - Antwaan Randle El, WR
83 - Heath Miller, TE
84 - Jerame Tuman, TE
85 - Nate Washington, WR
86 - Hines Ward, WR
87 - FREE
88 - Matt Kranchick - WR
89 - Lee Mays, WR
Or, when the Broncos had Todd Devoe as #14, Darius Watts as #17, and David Terrell as #13 throughout the 2005 season:
80 - Rod Smith, WR
81 - Charlie Adams, WR
82 - FREE
83 - Mike Leach, LS
84 - Wesley Duke, TE
85 - Ashley Lelie, WR
86 - FREE
87 - FREE
88 - Jeb Putzier, TE
89 - Nate Jackson, TE
Jerry Rice even had #19 before he retired on September 5th.
Lazy journalism is hardly a surprising thing, be it sports news or world news.
NFL Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4
Small message board correction.
86 - FREE--Brian Jones, T
82 - FREE---Stephen Alexander, TE
Maybe it incorporates numbers assigned to scrubs, which therefore would probably make those numbers taken if you verged into it further and checked.
"The owners also ... allowed wide receivers to wear Nos. 10 through 19 even when numbers in the 80s are available."
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