Rarely does an NFL player change his number without a specific reason. Typically, it takes the arrival of a new player who wants his previous number or the departure of another player through retirement or free agency to get someone to switch his digits. However, the Green Bay Packers saw two players make an unusual number swap recently as the team prepares to start offseason workouts on Monday.
The two players are safety Josh Jones and running back Lavon Coleman. Jones has worn number 27 since the team drafted him in 2017 out of North Carolina State. Meanwhile, Coleman picked up number 24 when he was signed to the practice squad last October (and he later suited up in those digits for one game late in the 2018 season).
However, for reasons that may be known only to those two players, they have apparently elected to swap their numbers. According to the team’s official roster on Packers.com, Jones is now wearing 24 while Coleman has 27.
The reason Jones could not have number 24 when he was drafted is that it was already assigned at that time. Cornerback Quinten Rollins wore 24 from 2015 through 2018 before being waived off injured reserve just after training camp last fall. Prior to Rollins’ arrival, 24 belonged to Jarrett Bush from 2006 to 2014. 27, meanwhile, was running back Eddie Lacy’s number during his four-year tenure in Green Bay from 2013 to 2016.
These changes are the second and third number changes this offseason for the Packers. Outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson switched from 91 to 53 in March after the team released Nick Perry in March.
Thanks to Andy Herman of CheeseheadTV for spotting Jones’ number change.