After already handing out real roster numbers to those rookies on their active roster, the New England Patriots have now finally also given them to those on the practice squad. A total of eight players have therefore now received new jersey numbers appropriate for the respective positions they are playing on the team.
This move was necessary given that the Patriots are traditionally assigning rookies non-eligible numbers from 50 up when they arrive. Now, however, they have been handed “real” ones as was announced by the club on Wednesdday.
5 — K Justin Rohrwasser: Rohrwasser wore number 16 at Marshall, but with the number currently occupied by Jakobi Meyers had to go another route. He picked number 5 after wearing 55 during training camp.
19 — WR Isaiah Zuber: With Zuber’s No. 12 jersey unavailable, he is taking over Malcolm Mitchell’s former 19. Brandon LaFell and Brandon Tate are other wide receivers to previously wear it, as did punter Tom Tupa back in the 90s.
41 — CB Myles Bryant: Bryant wore number 5 at Washington, which made a change necessary. He now will wear the jersey previously owned by defensive backs Leroy Mitchell Larry Caldwell, among others. Not a lot of history there, though.
43 — TE/LB Rashod Berry: Berry, a tight end/linebacker hybrid, wore number 13 in college so the move to 43 is not that far fetched. The Ohio State product is therefore taking over the number last worn by special teams ace Nate Ebner.
82 — TE Jake Burt: While Jake Burt wore number 84 in college, he has been assigned a different one in the NFL. Traditionally a tight end number in New England, it has been worn by Jim Whalen and Daniel Graham, among others.
84 — WR Mason Kinsey: Kinsey wore No. 12 at Berry College, but was given another jersey with a proud history after joining the Patriots: from Art Graham to Darryl Stingley to Shawn Jefferson to Benjamin Watson and Deion Branch, the number has been worn by some of the greatest players in franchise history.
88 — WR Kristian Wilkerson: After wearing number 6 at Southeast Missouri State, Wilkerson was assigned 88 after arriving in New England. The undrafted rookie is therefore now following the likes of Hart Lee Dykes, Terry Glenn and Martellus Bennett.
97 — DT Bill Murray: Murray donned 95 in college, but will wear 97 as a pro. Jarvis Green and Alan Branch are among the most famous ex-Patriots to call it theirs.