New Vikings Picked Their Jersey Numbers
New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pulled off three trades this week. In two of those, he acquired a new player for the Vikings. He also shipped Jesse Davis to the Steelers.
The first move, however, was trading for Ross Blacklock. The former Houston Texans defensive tackle has the task of filling the hole of Armon Watts. The Vikings surprisingly waived their 2021 starting defensive tackle.
Another significant move was the acquisition of wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Once again, the Vikings waived an expected contributor, Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
The two new Vikings chose their numbers for the upcoming season.
- Jalen Reagor — 5
- Ross Blacklock — 96
Reagor was number 18 in Philadelphia. Of course, that number is occupied by Justin Jefferson. In college, Reagor wore number 18 in his freshman season before he switched to number 1. Kicker Greg Joseph is number 1 in Minnesota.
Two of the recent number fives in Minnesota are Teddy Bridgewater and Dan Bailey. Bridgewater was supposed to be the franchise quarterback until he suffered a nasty knee injury. Bailey, meanwhile, was one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history when he came to the Vikings but couldn’t get back to that form. Hopefully, Reagor will have more success.
Blacklock replaced Watts on the roster and also picked his number. He wore number 90 in Houston and during his time at TCU. Esezi Otomewo is wearing that jersey with the Vikings.
Another change had to be made by Ryan Wright. The punter recently won the job against fellow punter Jordan Berry. After the Vikings released Berry, they fully unleashed Wright, and he had a phenomenal game against the Broncos in the final preseason game. He famously had the jersey number 66, an unlikely number for a punter. The NFL rules, however, don’t allow that number in the regular season. Therefore, Wright picked number 14.
That number was previously owned by quarterback Sean Mannion. He recently landed in Seattle on the Seahawks practice squad. Most fans still associate number 14 with Stefon Diggs. The fan-favorite star wideout was traded to the Bills. Rick Spielman used the pick to get his immediate replacement, Justin Jefferson.
Another change was made by Jonathan Bullard. The defensive lineman will also pick up some of the work of the departed Watts. In the preseason, he wore number 79, but Bullard now changed to 93.
Practice squad player Jaylen Twyman chose number 51 instead of the 93 he wore in the preseason.
The two new signings in the practice squad, Tay Gowan and Travis Toivonen, also picked their numbers. Cornerback Gowan will wear 31, wideout Toivonen 87.
The Vikings retired six numbers. Legendary quarterback Fran Tarkenton was the first one in 1979. The season after his retirement, the Vikings retired his number 10. He’s still holding the team records for most passing yards and touchdowns.
The second retired number was Alan Page’s number 88 in 1988. He’s one of only two defensive players to win the MVP award. His partner during the glory days of the ‘Purple People Eaters’ Jim Marshall saw the Vikings retire his jersey with the 70 in 1999. Marshall started 270 consecutive games with the Vikings.
In 2001, the Vikings retired the two numbers of offensive linemen Mick Tingelhoff and Korey Stringer. Tingelhoff is a Hall of Fame center and started 240 consecutive regular season games for Minnesota. No Vikings will ever wear his 53 ever again. The same is true about Stringer’s 77. He passed away from complications brought on by a heat stroke during Vikings training camp in 2001.
The final jersey retirement came in 2003 when the Vikings honored Cris Carter. The Hall of Fame wide receiver is still at the top of all Vikings’ career receiving records.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt