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2015 NFL countdown: 54 days left and Cardinals jersey No. 54

We continue the countdown.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


There are 54 days until the Arizona Cardinals open the 2015 NFL season. And who have been the players worth remembering who have worn No. 54?

Linebacker Kenny Demens is the guy who now wears it. He made the team as an undrafted rookie and was an important special teams contributor. He is a big hitter. He is not very quick and his spot on the roster is definitely in doubt. He is battling for a spot on the bench once again.

There are a few players worth mentioning. Linebacker Gerald Hayes wore 54 from 2003-2010.A third round pick, he was a run-stuffing thumper and an important player to the Arizona defense when he started -- from 2006-2009. He was a starter on both playoff teams and his absence at the end of 2009 was notable. The defenses were not considered very good, but without Hayes in the middle of the field, it was one reason the Cardinals were destroyed by the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

He suffered a back injury and returned in 2010, but was not the same player.

Going way back, from 1971-1988, a pair of players made the number a productive one. Center Tom Banks wore 54 from 1971-1980. He was the the starting center for the team at this time. He made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons from 1975-1978 and was part of that record-setting 1975 line that allowed only eight sacks all season. He was an All-Pro in 1976.

Then, from 1981-1988, 54 belonged to linebacker E.J. Junior. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All-Pro. He had as many as five interceptions in a season and as many as 9.5 sacks.

Who was the best to wear it? Who was your favorite? You can see who else has had 54 on this comprehensive list.