Commanders’ new player jersey numbers will take some getting used to

When I think of number 23 on the Washington team, I think of cornerbacks – guys like DeAngelo Hall and, more recently, William Jackson III. There have been DBs like Will Blackmon and Matt Bowen who have worn #41, but somehow seeing that number from JD McKissic just felt right. The sight of the No. 41 catching a check pass and turning it into a long win, first down or touchdown has become almost routine over the past two seasons.

That’s why it was such an easy mistake to make:

This video of No. 41 catching a passing pass sounds all too familiar to anyone who’s paid attention to the Washington team since Ron Rivera signed JD McKissic to play here.

The problem is that JD McKissic is no longer No. 41; he changed his number to 23 for the upcoming season, and that’s a change I’m not really excited about because I’ve always liked number 41 on McKissic. (By the way, No. 41 is now Jonathan Williams, who wore No. 38 last season).

This number change is just one of half a dozen or more that have taken place this year, with 3 of the changes being part of a string that can cause a few double takes from fans during pre-season games. and early regular season until everyone gets used to it.

Joey Sleye

The ‘domino’ effect was started by team placekicker Joes Slye, who said he felt uncomfortable wearing number 3 last season because it was Dustin’s number Hopkins.

Slye’s story about the number is intriguing and involves his brother. Slye says that growing up, his brother AJ always wore #6 while Joey wore #7 whenever he could.

Arriving in Carolina in 2019, the No. 7 jersey belonged to QB Kyle Allen, so the kicker ended up wearing No. 4. When he was signed as an injured replacement for Ka’imi Fairbairn at Houston in ’21, the starter wore No. 7, so Slye was left with a rare double-digit kicker jersey, No. 16. When he signed with the 49ers to replace injured Robbie Gould just days after Fairbairn returned, the No. 7 was on the back of QB Nate Sudfeld and Slye ended up in the No. 14 jersey.

When he arrived in Washington, Joey Slye’s luck continued in the same form. While the last occupant of the #7 jersey, Dwayne Haskins, was no longer with the team, Joe Theismann’s shadow was a bit too long for Joey Slye. He could never wear No. 7 in burgundy and gold. He found himself in the recently released No. 3 jersey which, as mentioned, previously belonged to Dustin Hopkins. Slye’s second choice, the number 6 that his brother had always worn, belonged, at the time, to practice squad QB Kyle Shurmur.

And that brings us to the 2022 season. Shurmur was gone and No. 6 was available, so Joey Slye made the change that sparked several other number changes.

But why did Joey Slye want to wear his brother’s number?

Well, Slye’s late brother AJ wore number 6 in all sports growing up. Sadly, AJ tragically passed away from leukemia in November 2014. After re-signing with Washington in April, Slye said he had his first real opportunity to pick his NFL number and wanted to honor his brother. .

“I was always No. 7 and AJ was No. 6,” Slye said. “I was thinking of trying to go for No. 7, but I know Joe [Theismann] wore it, and then with everything with [the late] Dwayne [Haskins] as well [happened] just when we were watching [changing numbers]. So, I would much rather wear #6 for my brother than #7 for me.

When you see Joey Slye on the pitch wearing his #6 Commanders jersey this season, it will be in honor of his late brother, AJ

William Jackson III

Washington cornerback WJ3 spent last season — his first in Washington — wearing a familiar cornerback jersey number, No. 23, which had been associated for many seasons with DeAngelo Hall.

It turns out that Jackson had worn number 3 at the University of Houston and, although the new rules for jersey numbers went into effect before last season and would have allowed the cornerback to wear his old number college, it belonged to…you get it…longtime placekicker Dustin Hopkins.

Jackson had worn number 22 in Cincinnati, but that number belonged to security veteran Deshazor Everett.

William Jackson discovered that Slye was going from No. 3 to No. 6 and immediately called ‘dibs’ on No. 3, which he will wear this season as one of the Commanders starting turns.

JD McKissic

As I said at the top of the article, my least favorite number change will occur following WJ3’s vacancy of number 23. JD McKissic, who I think looks absolutely perfect in issue #41, disagrees and says he never liked the issue.

McKissic wore #23 at Arkansas State, although this was the first time he was able to wear it as a pro.

GoDaddy Bowl - Toledo vs. Arkansas State

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As a rookie with the Falcons, McKissic had been a wide receiver and returning man, wearing #85. When he joined the Seahawks, his role changed, and so did his number. He couldn’t have number 23 because it belonged to security Steven Terrell. The following season, Neiko Thorpe wore 23 and McKissic started wearing #21. That didn’t change during the 2 seasons they were both in Seattle.

In 2019, McKissic went to the Lions, where Tracy Walker had No. 21 and Darius Slay wore No. 23. McKIssic ended up wearing #41.

Honestly, I don’t know if McKissic prefers #21 over #23, but when he arrived in Washington, Ronald Darby wore McKissic’s old college number, while #21, for obvious reasons, was completely banned. . McKissic stuck to the jersey number he wore in 2019 at Detroit.

This offseason, when Joey Slye moved up to No. 6 and WJ3 moved up to No. 3, McKissic wasted no time claiming No. 23.

“I always wanted to be 23,” McKissic said. “I was never able to get 23 because of my status in the dressing room at the same time, but 23 made itself available and I took it.”

McKissic said he didn’t know the No. 23 was going to be available until he saw on Twitter that Jackson III was changing his uniform to No. 3. Immediately, the veteran running back called the manager of Chief Equipment Drew Hampton and said: No. 23.

Camera Sims

For the first 3 years of his NFL career, wide receiver Cam Sims wore the #89 jersey, which I think suited him pretty well.

Last year, when the numbering rules were liberalized, Cam Sims was ready for a change.

In Alabama, Sims had been No. 17 but, of course, that was Terry McLaurin’s number here in Washington.

2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T

Game number: X161614 TK1

I don’t know why Sims chose number 11, but that’s what he wore in 2021.

Of course, the arrival of Carson Wentz raised a question. Wentz had worn No. 11 in college and Philadelphia, but ended up with No. 2 in Indianapolis because Michael Pittman, who also wore No. 11, got to Indy first.

Wentz wore number 20 when he was in high school and always felt drawn to number two. But when he arrived in North Dakota State, another player was already wearing No. 2, so he settled on No. 11 – to which he became attached throughout his time at Fargo then to Philadelphia. But number 11 is taken here in Indianapolis.

Reese's Senior Bowl

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“When the trade fell through, I obviously contacted (Michael) Pittman Jr.) right away and said hey, no pressure, are you married to #11? And he said yes, I think so,” Wentz said. “And I’m cool, no worries.”

But with 11 takes, Wentz had the opportunity to step up to a number he’s wanted to wear for years.

I guess Cam Sims was even less “married” to #11 than Carson Wentz had been. Sims’ story of giving up the number to their new starting quarterback is a lot like Wentz’s story of not having a jersey number issue with Michael Pittman at Indy:

Shortly after Wentz was introduced as Washington’s newest flagman, news broke that he would be wearing No. 11 for commanders. From the Sims perspective, it looked like a pretty easy negotiation.

“We just talked about it and he said, ‘Can I get it? and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah. You can get it,” Sims said.

When asked if the Sims received any money or a gift from Wentz in order to hand over No. 11, the broad said “no, no” with a smile. Sims returned to No. 89, which remained vacant in 2021 after moving to No. 11.

Darrick Forrest

The young safety explains this number change quite effectively: “Ah, man, 48 just felt a little heavy to me,” Forrest said. “People kept asking me if I played linebacker!”

NFL: NOVEMBER 14 Buccaneers vs. Washington Football Team

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Forrest’s new number will be 22, a number that had been worn for several seasons by Forrest’s good friend, Deshazor Everett, who was recently released from the team after a tragic accident at the end of last season at the during which Everett’s girlfriend, Olivia Peters, died when Everett lost control of his car.

According to NBC Sports, Forrest wants to emulate Everett, who was a standout on special teams during his time with Commanders, a role Forrest — who thrived on special teams in college — hopes to earn this season. Everett’s impact on Forrest is a big reason behind his decision to move up to No. 22.

“I’m rocking No. 22 for my homie Shaze,” Forrest said. “I have to keep this legacy.”


Here is the recap of the 5 returning players who will be under the shirt numbers in 2022:

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