My father and I have always been obsessed with Colts jersey numbers. When I was a kid, my dad taught me to memorize important numbers like my phone number using Colts jersey numbers (Bubba Smith-Bert Jones-Raymond Berry-Johnny U). When a new guy gets drafted, we immediately start visualizing him in Colt blue. We look at the depth chart and say "Man, this guy is a 32 (Edge)" or "I hope he wears 56," a linebacker number we love which seems devoid of Colt glory.
This is an unusual year for jersey numbers. The Colts have more linemen than the electric company and more guards than Buckingham Palace. There is only one number (69) available anywhere if you are a big man, and we only drafted big men. This means folks will have to double up until the 53-man cut. They will be listed on the roster as (w) for white on offense, (b) for blue on defense. An example could be found on last year's roster:
61 Hayworth Hicks (w)
61 Josh Chapman (b)
I sent a tweet to Josh Chapman (the_boss61)to ask why he chose 61. His response was "I didnt pick." So, in cases where numbers are hard to come by, the player may not get a choice in the matter. This will only happen with numbers in the 60s and 70s, as those are the only numbers guards can wear. Watch these numbers carefully. If your number gets doubled, you might be rather low on the depth chart.
Here's what I mean: when a player gets drafted who is sure to make the team, he is not going to be number paired with a player who is ALSO sure to make the team. Chapman was, Hayworth was not. They are not going to give Montori Hughes the same number as Anthony Castonzo, but they MIGHT give him Ijalana's number 71. If so, there is no guarantee Ben makes the team. Ben MIGHT make the team, in which case Hughes would be assigned another number after the cut to 53, but it will be an indication that the front office is not guaranteeing him a spot.
I've been keeping up with this stuff since I was a kid. No starter (or highly important sub)has ever had his number doubled. If a current guy gets doubled up, his days may be numbered.
What potentially available numbers do you hope our new guys wear?