TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new era of football begins Thursday night, and to commemorate the 2023 regular season, the National Football League is doing something special for the rookies.
As fans set their fantasy football lineups, prepare their game-time snacks and watch their favorite teams’ games, they might notice an extra patch on the rookies’ jerseys, but those patches have a deeper meaning.
On Wednesday, the NFL launched “NFL PREM1ERE,” the league’s first-ever jersey patch program created to “recognize and celebrate each rookie’s first game in the NFL.”
During Week 1, all rookies on a 53-man roster to start the 2023 NFL season will dawn the exclusive NFL PREM1ERE patch. Any rookies making their NFL debut throughout the season will also wear the patch during their first game.
After the games, the rookies will be gifted their game-worn jerseys to “further honor their first in-season game.”
“An NFL rookie’s first game marks an unforgettable occasion in his football experience and we are excited to preserve this moment and honor this milestone,” Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations said in a statement.
Football fans can catch the first glimpse of the NFL PREM1ERE patches on Thursday night when the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions in the NFL season-opening matchup. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open their 2023 regular season against the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday.