Why Saints’ Andy Dalton has a jersey number normally reserved for defensive lineman
The New Orleans Saints brought Andy Dalton in to back-up Jameis Winston at quarterback, but Dalton was assigned with an unconventional number for quarterbacks. The quarterback is listed on the Saints roster as a quarterback, number… 91.
The NFL did expand positional numbers starting in 2021, which led to several positions having single-digit numbers for the first time. The NFL did not, however, expand positional numbers so much so as to allow quarterbacks to disguise themselves as defensive linemen.
Quarterbacks can wear numbers 1-19, so if you just flip it Dalton would be legal. But that argument likely won’t hold up in court.
The likeliest explanations are that Dalton is biding his time until his normal No. 14 — which he’s worn his entire career — becomes available from Mark Ingram or it’s strictly a procedural move the Saints are making until they assign more permanent numbers deeper into the offseason.
Who wears No. 14 for the Saints?
Mark Ingram is currently No. 14 for the Saints, after rejoining the team midseason. While Ingram was expected to reclaim No. 22 when he was acquired from the Texans, an NFL rule prohibited C.J. Gardner-Johnson from giving up the number, despite Gardner-Johnson being willing to do so.
“Unless something changes I am going to rock No. 14”
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 29, 2021
If Gardner-Johnson follow through and gives up the number, expect Ingram to claim No. 22 and give No. 14 to Dalton. Otherwise, Dalton will be assigned either No. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, or 19. There are options, but No. 91 isn’t really one of them, unless he chooses to bulk up and change positions.