Teddy Bridgewater Says He Will Wear Illegal Number With Detroit Lions

Teddy Bridgewater Says He Will Wear Illegal Number: Bridgewater was wearing an interesting number during his first training camp practice with the Lions.

Teddy Bridgewater Says He Will Wear Illegal Number With Detroit Lions

On Monday, newly signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater participated in his first training camp with the Detroit Lions, and he was easy to spot because he was wearing a red jersey with no number on it. Following practice, Bridgewater spoke to reporters and he jokingly said he would be wearing an illegal number with the Lions.

Teddy Bridgewater compliments Detroit Lions Teddy Bridgewater says he will wear illegal number

What Did Bridgewater Say?

Following practice, Teddy Bridgewater told reporters that he will be wearing No. 50 with the Lions.

“I don’t have a number yet, can’t talk,” he said with a wry smile.

I’m going to wear No. 50,” Bridgewater said through laughter. “I’m going to wear 50, man.”

According to DetroitLions.com, Bridgewater is listed as No. 50, so he was not fibbing.

Why No. 50?

According to NFL rules, quarterbacks must wear a jersey with a 0-19 on it. The problem is, all of those numbers are already taken by a player on the Lions' current 90-man roster or is retired (No. 7 is retired in honor of Dutch Clark). Because of that, Bridgewater had decided on the No. 50 for the time being.

What Number Will Bridgewater Wear When The Season Begins?

Regardless of what Bridgewater told reporters on Monday, he will not be wearing the No. 50 jersey by the time Week 1 rolls around because it is against the rules. So, what number will Bridgewater be wearing in 2023? Well, throughout his entire career, from high school to college to the NFL, Teddy has always been No. 5.

Unfortunately for him, No. 5 is not available as that is the number RB David Montgomery chose to wear when he signed with the team during the offseason. Since Montgomery is a veteran starter on the team, it seems unlikely that he would give it to Bridgewater, though it is possible as this is the first time Monty has ever worn No. 5 (he wore No. 32 with the Bears), so he is probably not overly committed to it.

If No. 5 is not an option, and let's assume it is not, then Bridgewater will have to wait until a legal quarterback number becomes available. That means waiting until a player (or players) with an eligible number is cut. Here are some Lions' players currently wearing legal QB numbers who are on the roster bubble, at best, who could be cut.

  • 6 – Ifeatu Melifonwu (Currently on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 10 – Nate Sudfeld (Not on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 13 – Craig Reynolds (Currently on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 15 – Maurice Alexander (Not on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 17 – Denzel Mims (Currently on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 18 – Adrian Martinez (Not on my 53-man roster prediction)
  • 19 – Trinity Benson (Not on my 53-man roster prediction)

If my latest 53-man roster prediction comes to fruition, then Sudfeld, Alexander, Martinez, and Benson will be cut, which would free up numbers 10, 15, 18, and 19. With that being said, I would think that Sudfeld, Alexander, and Benson could land on the practice squad, meaning 18 would be the only number left for Bridgewater to take.

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TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Teddy Bridgewater's Jersey Dilemma: Upon joining the Detroit Lions, Bridgewater had to wear No. 50 during training because all the legal quarterback numbers (0-19) were taken or retired. This move was seen as a humorous quirk during training camp, as he joked about it to the reporters, even though he will not be able to wear No. 50 during the regular season.
  2. Why No. 50 is Not Viable: NFL rules dictate that quarterbacks wear jerseys numbered between 0-19. Every single one of these numbers on the Lions' 90-man roster is either currently in use by a player or is retired. This left Bridgewater in a unique position of having to temporarily adopt No. 50, even if it's against the regulations for a quarterback.
  3. Bridgewater's Potential Season Jersey Number: Historically, Bridgewater has always worn No. 5 from his high school days to his NFL career. Unfortunately, that number is currently taken by RB David Montgomery. For Teddy to get a legal QB number, the Lions would need to cut a player currently wearing a number between 0-19. As per the provided roster predictions, numbers 10, 15, 18, and 19 might become available, with 18 being the most likely option.

Bottom Line: Time Will Reveal A Number

As it stands, there is not a legal quarterback number available for Teddy Bridgewater to don. But, before long, the Lions will have to trim their roster from 90 players to 53 players, and at least one legal number is sure to free up. Only time will tell which number Bridgewater will wear in his first season of the Lions, but one thing is for sure, he will not be wearing No. 50.