Our countdown to the start of the regular season for the Arizona Cardinals is down to 49 days, which means we now look at the history of jersey number 49. We now will start seeing defensive backs.
The history for 49 is actually really small.
Nobody currently wears it.
Safety Rashad Johnson, now wearing 26, wore 49 from 2009-2012. He was drafted in the third round out of Alabama and progressed slowly. He has been a special teams leader, but worked his way steadily into the lineup. He started in place of Kerry Rhodes in 2011 when he went down with a foot injury. In 2012, he supplanted Adrian Wilson in nickel packages. In 2013, he was the starter at the beginning of the season, but did lose that spot to Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu's move to slot cornerback in nickel packages brings Johnson in the game, so he still plays plenty. His claim to fame was losing a part of his finger in a game last season.
Before Johnson, you have to go all the way back to 2001. It was worn for one whole game by tight end Lawrence Hart.
Before back, turn back time to 1988. DB Greg Lasker wore it...for one game.
Linebacker Niko Noga wore it his rookie season in 1984. He was a reserve that season after being drafted in the eighth round (back when there were 12 rounds). After his rookie year, he became a starter, wearing No. 57, and played four more seasons for the Redbirds.
Then you have to go back to 1971-72. It belonged to DB Dale Hackbart. He started three games each season and had an interception each year.
The most important player to wear 49 was Jimmy Burson, who played cornerback from 1963-67. He intercepted 12 passes in those five seasons.
In 1960-61, it was Willie West.
In 1959, it was Jim Wagstaff.
From 1955-57, it was Frank Bernardi.
Roy Barni wore it in 1952-53.
Clearly, 49 has been a rather insignificant number historically. That isn't going to change apparently this season.
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