Admit it — you thought Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham looked weird wearing number 53.
Abraham had worn jersey number 55 for seven years in Atlanta, racking up 68.5 sacks in the process.
But upon his signing with the Cardinals right before the start of training camp in July, Abraham was given #53 because #55 was taken by Karlos Dansby, who signed with the team in May.
But Sunday, when the Cardinals open their season in St. Louis against the Rams, Abraham will be back with the familiar double-nickel on his chest and back.
“Getting 55, and the success I had with it, it felt good, so I think that was a big thing for me,” Abraham said following Wednesday’s practice, adding that he’s been on Dansby for awhile about securing the number.
“I don’t know if it was a month-long process or not, but damn it, it worked,” he joked. “I can’t even put no time on it. All I know is when I first got here, I said I wanted it and we finally got it done.”
Dansby, who wore number 58 in his first stint with the Cardinals from 2004 to 2009 and can’t wear it now because it’s taken by Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington, switched to number 56. The veteran says Abraham owes him.
“The only way he can make it comfortable for me is to get a sack every game,” Dansby said. “You get a sack every game, I’m cool.”
Dansby and Abraham aren’t the only Cardinals who have switched numbers. Veteran safety Rashad Johnson has changed from number 49 to number 26, but says there’s no real significance to it.
“No real reasoning behind it,” Johnson said. “It felt like time for a change, something I wanted to do. I’ve been looking to change and I felt like this was a perfect opportunity to do it.
“There’s no real significance behind the number 26 to me at all. Six and two equals eight and eight equals new beginnings.”
Other uniform number changes: Rookie safety Tony Jefferson switched from #36 to #22,linebacker Jasper Brinkley switched from #54 to #52 and offensive tackle Eric Winston switched from #65 to #73.