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Patriots announce preseason jersey numbers for their rookie class

New England’s rookies have received real jersey numbers — at least for now.

NFL: AUG 02 Patriots Training Camp Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Later today, the New England Patriots will play in a real football game for the first time this season. While their preseason opener against the Detroit Lions will likely see a considerable portion of the world champions’ starters be inactive, the game is a prime opportunity for the rest: while the roster bubble players can prove their value to the team, the team’s first-year players and rookie class can take another step in their development.

Speaking of the rookies, they have worn provisional jersey numbers in the 50s and 60s up to this point. With a real game taking place on the horizon, however, the team has decided to hand out real numbers — at least for the time being. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at them:

#4: QB Jarrett Stidham

#7: P Jake Bailey

#9: WR Gunner Olszewski

#10: WR N’Keal Harry

#16: WR Jakobi Meyers

#19: WR Ryan Davis

#33: CB Joejuan Williams

#37: RB Damien Harris

#41: CB D’Angelo Ross

#42w: RB Nick Brossette

#42b: SS Malik Gant

#47: CB Ken Webster

#50: DE Chase Winovich

#59: LB Terez Hall

#63: OT Martez Ivey

#64: OG Hjalte Froholdt

#65: OT Yodny Cajuste

#67: OC Tyler Gauthier

#68: OT Tyree St. Louis

#86: TE Andrew Beck

#99: DT Byron Cowart

A few things stand out when looking at the jersey numbers, most prominently the one that was handed to wide receiver N’Keal Harry: the first-round pick will wear the #10 jersey previously occupied by Josh Gordon, who is still indefinitely suspended. That being said, you should not read too much into it. There are only so many numbers to hand out at this time of the year, and Harry happened to receive his old college number with a zero added.

Other than that, the numbers are mostly straight forward. Only undrafted wideout Gunner Olszewski will receive another one should he survive roster cutdowns or end up on the practice squad. Maybe he will get a prominent one still left unworn: the Patriots did not hand out Rob Gronkowski’s old #87. As with Gordon’s number, however, this should not be seen as a sign of things to come.

The Patriots also announced new jersey numbers for a pair of free agency acquisitions:

#1: WR Cameron Meredith

#92: DT Nick Thurman

Like Olszewski, Meredith will change jersey numbers should he be activated off the physically unable to perform list at one point and actually make the Patriots’ 53-man roster (unlikely, but not impossible). Nick Thurman, meanwhile, went from being given #86 upon his arrival to a real defensive lineman’s number: #92.

[UPDATE 8/8/2019, 1:38 p.m. ET] The Patriots now have announced that Harry will wear number 8 this offseason and not as previously reported number 10.