Patriots rookies given updated jersey numbers ahead of regular season

Some first-year players will keep their preseason numbers, but Christian Gonzalez was among those to make a change.

Demario Douglas Patriots rookie numbers
Rookie Demario Douglas catching a pass during Patriots practice. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

With the regular season approaching, it was finally time for Patriots rookies who made the active roster to be given their official jersey numbers.

Bill Belichick has become known in recent years for having first-year players don either random or less-than-desirable numbers prior to the start of the season. It was a practice that once had rookie running back Sony Michel (the team’s 2018 first-round pick) wear a very unorthodox No. 51 in OTAs.

In 2023, the practice was toned down slightly during preseason. Rookie wide receivers Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas ended up with No. 80 and 81, respectively. So when it came time to hand out real jersey numbers prior to Week 1, both players stuck with their existing digits.


Aside from Boutte and Douglas, however, several rookies opted for new numbers. First-round pick cornerback Christian Gonzalez swapped No. 19 out in exchange for No. 6. Kicker Chad Ryland, who appears to have won the starting job after Nick Folk was traded to the Titans, will wear No. 37 after wearing No. 38 in the preseason. Offensive lineman Sidy Sow also moved one spot, changing No. 61 for No. 62.

Punter Bryce Baringer, meanwhile, elected for No. 17 over No. 9.

Other rookies stood pat like the wide receiver contingent. Defensive lineman Keion White will continue with No. 99, and defensive back Marte Mapu formalized the No. 30 jersey he wore in preseason.

The Patriots begin the 2023 season on Sept. 10 at Gillette Stadium agains the Eagles at 4:25 p.m.


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