Friday, April 19, 2024

Nick Foles Has Worn Four Jersey Numbers. Which Should It Be For Bears?


Nick Foles is the newest quarterback with the Chicago Bears. Many think he’s more than just competition for Mitch Trubisky. He could end up being the outright starter. Surprisingly though his first big hurdle isn’t meeting teammates or absorbing the new playbook. It’s figuring out which jersey number he’s going to wear. That may sound odd, but it’s true in his case.

Foles has worn no fewer than four different numbers in his NFL career. Each with different teams. Each with different legacies. Will he turn back to a familiar digit or try something new altogether? To get a firm grasp on which direction he should or should not go, maybe we can take a peek at Bears history to see.

Rest assured, there are paths he absolutely must avoid.

Nick Foles has essentially two options with Bears


Foles wore this for a season with the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2016. The Bears have a rather blah history in regards to that number. The most successful player to ever where it was Jim Harbaugh who helped the team to playoff appearances in 1990 and 1991. Steve Fuller, who helped the Bears reach the NFC championship in 1984 also wore it. Then there was Steve Walsh who found some magic in 1994 to get them a wild card spot, upsetting the Vikings in the playoffs. It was also the number of Brad Maynard, arguably their most successful punter in team history.

Subscribe to the BFR podcast and ride shotgun with Dave and Ficky as they break down Bears football like nobody else.


This is probably a number Foles would prefer to forget, having worn it during his ugly stint with the St. Louis Rams in 2015. Lucky for him this option won’t be on the table anyway. The Bears retired the number five as a tribute to former running back George McAfee. A star during the 1940s, he helped Chicago with three of their four NFL championships during the decade. Eventually, he found his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Some wonder what his career could’ve been if World War II hadn’t interrupted.


Another number that Foles didn’t exactly get much good fortune out of. His line year wearing it down in Jacksonville ended in disaster with an 0-4 record and broken shoulder. Again, lucky for him this isn’t an option anyway. The Bears retired the number seven back in the 1980s following the death of George Halas, who wore it during his playing days. Bob Avellini was the last player to wear it. So that’s probably a good thing in terms of tempting the football fates.


This is the most awkward one. Nick Foles had his greatest career successes wearing number nine, going to a Pro Bowl and winning a championship in Philadelphia. He chose to leave that number behind, saying that it “pertains to that city.” While an admirable gesture, he might want to reconsider that decision. The number nine has enjoyed quite a bit of success in Chicago. Robbie Gould became the greatest kicker in team history wearing it. Jim McMahon and Billy Wade both won championships wearing it. Even Shane Matthews found a bit of magic with it in 2001.

The truth is Foles will likely wear #4 or something new

Given how willing he’s been to start fresh with a new digit, the latter seems possible. So which should he choose? Based on team history, his best bet is to go with #6. Kevin Butler wore during his long, successful run with the team in the ’80s and ’90s. Then Jay Cutler took it over and, love him or hate him, set most of the Bears’ franchise passing records. It was also worn by Don Kindt back in the 1950s where he made the Pro Bowl as a safety. If Foles wants to get off on the right foot, that is his best hope.

What he does, somebody needs to tell him to avoid #8.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Chicago SportsNEWS
Recommended for you

Give us your thoughts.x