The jersey swap is one of the NFL’s favorite modern traditions. In recent years, players have started to seek each other out following the end of a game, chat for a bit, and take turns signing their jerseys before trading them as a sign of respect.
It’s become something that even the fans look forward to seeing, but after the NFL made the decision to prohibit all postgame interaction within six feet of each other, the jersey swap will now be one of those things that will go by the wayside in 2020.
But, for a bit of fun, I’ve listed five potential jersey swaps that we would have seen in 2020 had things been able to go on as normal. If there’s any good pairs that I am missing, feel free to share it in the comments.
Week 1: Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow
It doesn’t get much more picturesque than this. It’s Week 1 of the new NFL season and two of the top-3 quarterbacks taken in the 2020 draft could potentially square off against each other for the chance at their first win at the professional level.
Justin Herbert is bringing his arm talent and athleticism to the Chargers ⚡️#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/3PWKVzA1QF— ESPN (@espn) April 24, 2020
The chances are in favor of Tyrod Taylor starting this game, but even if Herbert doesn’t see the field, he still would have sought out Burrow to make sure they capture this moment in history.
Week 4: Keenan Allen and Mike Evans
In a game that features plenty of talented receivers, this one stood out as the two best receivers who will be taking the field share the same number on their jerseys. This game could feature some serious firepower as both offenses include an elite WR duo, dynamic running backs, and a top-5 tight end in the NFL.
Keenan Allen using a “rocker-step” to make the DB jump inside pic.twitter.com/GP7Pe36PqP— Receiver Life (@ReceiverLife_) March 30, 2020
At the end of it all, I can just imagine Allen and Evans sharing a laugh after a hard-fought battle, exchanging their No. 13s in respect for each other’s game.
Week 5: Austin Ekeler and Alvin Kamara
Kamara burst onto the scene as a rookie in New Orleans when he showcased a knack for absorbing hits and gaining numerous yards after contact, whether it was following a handoff or catch. Through his first three seasons, Kamara has recorded over 2,000+ rushing and receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns. He’s one of the premiere do-it-all backs in the NFL and the exact player Ekeler should attempt to emulate.
Although he’s had a slower start to his career, Ekeler has averaged at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage over his young career and has scored 22 total touchdowns.
In a game that features two backs with similar skillsets, it’s easy to see these two finding each other after the clock ticks down to zero.
Everytime I watch the Chargers I ask myself why the hell I don’t have more shares of Austin Ekeler pic.twitter.com/gUcw9ivGL4— Brennan (@GoldenGoatFF) July 11, 2020
Week 7: Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa
Like Week 1’s matchup, you can’t dismiss another meeting with first-round quarterbacks. In this game, the Chargers face the QB taken right in front of Herbert, and there’s a much higher chance that the rookie is also starting this game, depending on how Taylor had been performing up to this point.
If the Chargers don’t get off to a fast start, then I could certainly see Herbert getting thrown into the spotlight against a team that’s still regarded as one of the NFL’s worst. If he’s set to see significant game time, it might as well be against Miami.
Week 13: Derwin James and Stephon Gilmore
This match-up would have been circled and underlined in red ink if the Patriots still had Tom Brady as their quarterback. Fortunately for the Chargers, he’s moved on to greener pastures in Tampa Bay. This time around, the best players on the field will be on either team’s defenses with the group of elite talent being highlighted by cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the NFL’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.
After being name a First-Team All-Pro as a rookie, not many players have brighter futures ahead of them than James, who will be looking to get back on track following a 2019 season where he missed 11 games.
It’s really easy to see why Derwin James was a first-team All-Pro selection as a rookie. pic.twitter.com/Nl2LFhXfDH— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) May 25, 2019
At the end of this one, you can fully-expect the Chargers’ DPoY-in-waiting to seek out the most recent top defender in the league to pay his respects with a jersey swap.