The Carolina Panthers have just started their game against the New York Jets as their 2021 season kicks off. But the Panthers made a change just before kickoff that has Jets fans fuming.
Minutes before the game, the Panthers announced that two of their players – linebackers Shaq Thompson and Jermaine Carter – would be changing their jersey numbers for the game. Thompson is switching from No. 54 to 7, while Carter is moving from No. 56 to No. 4.
No doubt the Panthers are trying to play mind games with Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, who is making his first NFL start today. But the suddenness of the move has Jets fans upset.
While some are saying that it’s a smart move, others are pointing out that it probably shouldn’t be allowed. Some are taking it seriously, others think it’s just hilarious:
That shouldn’t be legal but it’s a smart tactic
— mgrant (@mgrant2005123) September 12, 2021
How are you allowed to change your number just hours before the game? Seems like this isn’t allowed to happen
— JetsTheory (@JetsTheory) September 12, 2021
This is the lamest thing on earth
— Luke Grant (@LukeGrant7) September 12, 2021
Are you even allowed to change your number on game day? 😂
— Jeff Brainard (@JayBrainsy) September 12, 2021
How is that legal?
— Frank Ntilikina Fan (@Ntilikina11Fan) September 12, 2021
How is that allowed LMFAO
— . (@lvl3t34) September 12, 2021
It’s hard to recall if any other NFL team has done something like this before. As many fans have pointed out, it seems smart but feels like it should be illegal.
That said, just because something “feels” like it should be against NFL rules doesn’t mean it is. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has taken advantage of that sentiment countless times.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is clearly pulling out all the stops to get his second year at the helm with a W. We’ll find out shortly if it pays off.
The game is being played on CBS.