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2015 NFL Countdown: The History of Arizona Cardinals Jersey Number 87

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Another day closer to kickoff and another great play to watch today as we salute those who have worn No. 87 for the Cardinals and then vote for who wore it best.

Mike Powell/Getty Images

Thirty players have worn No. 87 for the Cardinals since 1950 which includes a grand total of 14 One-Hit-Wonders (those who played one season for the team).  But it would still seem to defy the law of averages that we have to move down to the 20th spot chronologically to find a player who made a major contribution  — but it is what it is.  Don't look for that trend to continue though.

Once again you will notice that players who wore a jersey number in the 80's prior to the mid-1970's weren't necessarily eligible receivers.  It was very common for instance for defensive ends (DE's) to wear a jersey numbered in the 80's a tradition going back to those who played on both sides of the ball doubling as simply offensive 'ends' (E).

We'll cover the highlights and leave plenty of room for any recollections or fun facts in the comment section so let's get to it.

The Chicago years

Ray Ramsey 1950-1953 (HB)
Babe Dimancheff 1950 (HB)
Jim Ladd 1954 (E)
Dick Brubaker 1955-1957 (E-DE)
Charlie Anderson 1956 (E-DE)
Maury Schleicher 1959 (LB-DE)
Chuck Bryant 1962 (E)
Jerry Hillebrand 1967 (E) 
Cal Snowden 1969-1970 (DE)

The St. Louis Years

Jeff Staggs 1972-1973 (LB-DE)
Terry Joyce 1976-1977 (P)
Jim Thaxton 1978
Al Chandler 1978-1979
Richard Osborne 1979
Doug Marsh 1980-1981
Eddie McGill 1982-1983
Earnest Gray 1985
Troy Johnson 1986-1987

The Desert Years

Andy Schillinger 1988

Ricky Proehl (1990-1994) began his 17 year NFL career (playing for 7 teams) with the Phoenix Cardinals and in five seasons accumulated 287 receptions, 3,840 yards and 21 touchdowns.  Ricky (pictured above) spent his last season in the desert as an Arizona Cardinal and immediately found himself in the doghouse of new head coach Buddy Ryan after dropping a potential game winning touchdown pass in Anaheim on opening day against the Los Angeles Rams (I was there and he should have had it!).

Oscar McBride 1995-1996
Johnny McWilliams 1996-1999
Jay Tant 2000
Steve Bush 2001-2003
Reggie Newhouse 2004
Reggie Swinton 2005

Fred Wakefield appears once again (2006) this time wearing No. 87 in his one season as an NFL tight end which amounted to 2 receptions for 24 yards on his permanent record.

Sean Morey (2007-2009) didn't make much of an impact either —  that is if you don't count this play in 2008.


Jeff King (2011-2013) spent the last three years of his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals snatching 44 receptions for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Which brings us to the latest player to wear the BIG EIGHT-SEVEN for the Big Red who goes by the name of Troy Niklas.  With a rookie season (and pre-season) that was plagued by injuries and finally ended with a spot on the injured reserve, there is reason for concern — but only time can tell such things and we're hoping for a 'bounce back season'.

Many players that wore No. 87 and many gaps to fill, so please help us out with your recollections of these guys after you vote on your favorite.


For a listing of the entire collection of stories in the Countdown to the Season series, all you have to do is click here.