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Numbers, Please...and an Accent for Forté

Uniform Assignments Include Jets' New RB Getting His Old Bears Number 22 in Green & White


Some new Jets have received uniform numbers for the offseason, and one number should be no surprise to veteran football watchers: Matt Forte will be wearing No. 22 in green and white, as he did for his eight seasons in the Bears' navy blue, orange and white.

But one other uniform wrinkle in the works for Forté is that acute accent over the "e" in his last name.

"Yeah, I always write my name with the accent to accentuate the 'e,' " Forté told us shortly after he signed with the Jets in March. The Jets' equipment team complied with a freestyle accent for his new nameplate in the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room.

In fact, Forté with the accent mark is a hit-or-miss affair. News organizations tend to drop the accent because it is difficult to reproduce in print or online. (One way on your computer: number lock on, hold down "Windows" key and ALT key simultaneously, keyboard 0-2-3-3 on the numeric keypad.) Some browsers ignore the special character or print another character in its place.

Some reference books print the accent, such as the Official NFL Record and Fact Book, while others do not. Our approach is to go with Forté with the accent on And the Jets equipment room's plans are to get that mark on his game jersey.

The process is similar to getting a generational suffix placed on the uniform. Last year S Calvin Pryor was approved to add III to his uniform name as was LB Lorenzo Mauldin to add IV on his uniform back. Each player who wants to add a suffix or pronunciation mark needs to provide an official document with the mark to the league for approval.

Meanwhile, Forté's not the only Jet to get his green and white number. Here are some other recently released assignments, in inverse numerical order (more numbers will be assigned by the Jets equipment team in the coming days):

99 — The number made famous by Mark Gastineau a quarter of a century ago will now be worn by NT Steve McLendon, who has "risen" from No. 69 and then No. 90 his last four years with Pittsburgh. The number was last worn by NT T.J. Barnes through last November.

98 — Recently signed DE Jarvis Jenkins takes on 98, last worn by Quinton Coples. Jenkins was 99 in his first three years in Chicago, then 96 with Washington last season.

85 — TE Adrien Robinson wore No. 81 in three seasons and 19 games with the Giants. TE Jeff Cumberland was most recently 85 last season.

84 — WR Titus Davis retains the number he wore in his two stints, early and late, on the Jets' practice squad last year.

33 — RB Dri Archer, the free agent speedster, dons the double-triples vacated by Chris Ivory, who left as a free agent for Jacksonville. Dri wore 13 with the Steelers for two years and 1 his last two years at Kent State before turning in his blistering Combine 40.

26 — CB Darryl Morris is back at 26, his number with Houston in '14. Last season he was 21 with the Texans. The Jets number was last worn by CB Darrin Walls.

16 — Free agent WR Chandler Worthy, who wore 6 and 13 as a Texan last year, moves to the Jets number last worn by WR Austin Hill last training camp and last worn in a regular-season game by WRs Percy Harvin and Jalen Saunders in '14.

11 — WR/KR Jeremy Ross, who's done some receiving and a lot of punt and kickoff returning for five other teams in his five seasons in the NFL, will don his fifth different uni number. Ross started out at 82 with New England, for whom he never played, went to 10 with Indianapolis and Green Bay, sported 12 with Detroit, returned to 10 with the Ravens at the start of last season, then wore 13 as a Raider in the second half. Jeremy Kerley, now with the Lions, wore 11 in his five Jets seasons.

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