Dalvin Cook won’t be switching to a single-digit number, but cornerback Patrick Peterson will.
Peterson, who signed as a free agent last month with the Vikings, announced Sunday he will wear 7, his old number at LSU, after donning No. 21 the past 10 years for Arizona. To wrestle No. 7 away from Minnesota quarterback Nate Stanley, who wore it last season as a rookie on the practice squad, Stanley’s former high school coach at Menomonie (Wis.) High School said Peterson will donate about 10 pairs of new shoulder pads to the school.
A new NFL rule allows players at more position groups to wear single-digit numbers. Cook, a Vikings running back, had looked last week into switching from 33 to 4, his number at Miami Central High School and Florida State, but he changed his mind after finding out it would cost about $1.5 million.
Players who change their jersey number are required to pay for the inventory of jerseys with their old number. However, Peterson, having just switched teams, did not have the same money situation as Cook.
No. 7 had been donned by Stanley, a seventh-round pick in 2020 out of Iowa. Joe LaBuda, who was Menomonie’s coach for 32 years before retiring in February, said he spoke to the quarterback on Sunday night and Stanley was arranging for about 10 pairs of shoulder pads to be donated.
“It’s a great gesture on Nate’s part,’’ LaBuda said. “He said he just wanted to help out the program.’’
LaBuda said shoulder pads cost “two or three hundred for good ones,’’ so the donation could be worth a few thousand dollars. And LaBuda said the Mustangs, under new coach Mike Sinz, could use some new ones.
“We have a lot of them that have been here for a long time, some of them 15 years, 10 years,’’ LaBuda said. “A lot of them have been to the point where they need to be replaced.’’