NFL approves rule change on jersey number, nixes shifts to overtime format

Some notable NFL players could be changing their numbers, with a lot more single-digit outfits potentially in demand.

On Wednesday, team owners approved a rule change allowing for players at a number of positions to wear a wider range of uniform numbers.

Running backs, wide receivers and tight ends will be allowed to wear any number from 1-49 and 80-89. Defensive backs also will now be allowed to wear 1-49, and linebackers are permitted to wear 1-59 and 90-99.

Several big-name players, including Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, have already voiced interest in changing their numbers.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) celebrates making a fourth quarter interception against the Chicago Bear at SoFi Stadium. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports)

While owners approved a proposal to eliminate overtime in preseason games, they shot down two variations of "spot-and-choose" formats for an extra period, in which one team would choose the spot of the ball and the other would decide whether to be on offense or defense.

The Philadelphia Eagles also tabled a proposal that would have allowed teams twice per game to attempt to retain the ball after a score by trying to convert a fourth-and-15 play rather than recover an onside kick.

The other proposals that were approved:

• Establish a maximum number of players in the "setup zone" on onside kicks on a one-year trial basis.

• Permit replay officials and designated members of NFL officiating department to provide objective information to on-field officials.

• Ensure enforcement of all accepted penalties committed by either team during successive try attempts.

• Loss of down in addition to a 5-yard loss on illegal forward pass.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

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