What Players Have Worn Football Jersey Number 5?
In the National Football League, the number on a player's jersey depends on his position on the field. The rule came into effect in the 1970s in order to help fans identify players, and the league has steadfastly rejected requests from players to alter the system. In 2006, the NFL Competition Committee turned down Reggie Bush's plea to wear number 5, insisting that the running back must wear a number in the 20s, 30s or 40s. Currently only quarterbacks, placekickers and punters are allowed to wear single-digit numbers.
The Philadelphia Eagles made Donovan McNabb the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft, and the Syracuse graduate led Andy Reid's team to five NFC Championship games during his 11 seasons with the Eagles. McNabb threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns in Superbowl XXXIX, but he was intercepted three times as Philadelphia lost 24-21 to New England. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback was traded to Washington in April 2010 for a second-round pick in the 2010 draft and a conditional selection in 2011.
Paul Hornung won the 1956 Heisman trophy despite playing for a Notre Dame team that finished with a woeful 2-8 record. The Green Bay Packers selected Hornung with the first pick of the 1957 NFL draft, but it was not until Vince Lombardi's arrival two years later that he fulfilled his true potential. Hornung led the league in scoring for three straight years between 1959 and 1961. He captured the MVP award in 1960 and won three NFL championships with the Packers, but was forced to sit out Green Bay's Superbowl win in 1966 because of injury.
The legendary placekicker played for six different teams in a career that spanned 25 years. Andersen was selected in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints and spent 13 seasons in the Big Easy before moving to Atlanta. Andersen kicked a game-winning field goal in the 1998 NFC Championship game to send the Falcons to their first Superbowl and was elected to the Pro Bowl seven times. The Danish-born kicker then played for the Giants, Chiefs and Vikings before returning to Atlanta in 2006. At the age of 47, Andersen converted 25 of 28 field goals before he officially retired in 2008.
George McAfee played eight seasons for the Chicago Bears as a running back, kick returner and defensive back. Red Grange labeled McAfee as "the most dangerous man with the football in the game." McAfee's number was retired by the Bears, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.
Jeff Garcia was voted to the Pro Bowl three times as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and once while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Kerry Collins led the New York Giants to Superbowl XXXV, where they ultimately lost to Baltimore, and has worn the number 5 jersey since 1999.
Martyn Wood started writing professionally in 2009. He has had work published for Eurosport, Sky Sports.com and Made Up Media. Wood holds a Bachelor of Arts in sport journalism from the University of Brighton and a Master of Arts in multimedia sports journalism from the European University of Madrid.