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Raiders’ wide receiver first to exploit new number rule

Zay Jones will look a bit different on the field for the Raiders this season.

The wide receiver has decided to switch from No. 12 to No. 7, taking advantage of a new rule that allows more than just quarterbacks, kickers and punters to wear single-digit jerseys.

Jones wore No. 11 at the beginning of his career with the Bills and switched to No. 12 when he signed with the Raiders in 2019.

He did wear No. 7 during his collegiate career at East Carolina.

A new rule passed for this season allows running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs to wear any number between one and 49.

NFL rules do stipulate players who wish to change their jersey number immediately must buy out all existing inventory of jerseys printed with their current number. A player can avoid that cost by declaring an intention to change numbers a season in advance.

It’s not clear how many Jones’ jerseys were on the market.

Jones is the first member of the newly eligible Raiders to claim a single-digit jersey. Nos. 1 and 9 are still unassigned. The rest of the single-digit numbers are in use by quarterbacks and special teamers.

The former second-round pick played in all 16 games for the Raiders last season, catching 14 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. He could see an increased role this season with the departure of top receiver Nelson Agholor.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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