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Lions Player Reached Out To Matthew Stafford: NFL World Reacts

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford against the Vikings.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 08: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

It's been over a year since Matthew Stafford left the Detroit Lions to join the Los Angeles Rams but there's still a level of reverence for him in Michigan. That's probably why one Lions player reached out to him for permission to wear his old jersey number.

Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams revealed this week that he contacted Stafford via text for permission to wear his No. 9 jersey. Given that he officially made that change via Instagram, it looks like Stafford gave his blessing.

Stafford wore the No. 9  from 2009 to 2020, during which he became the Lions' all-time leading passer while leading them to the playoffs several times. When he left, there were some calls in Detroit to have the number retired.

But for the most part, fans are respecting Williams' eagerness to wear the No. 9. Some are taking to Twitter and expressing confidence that the former Alabama receiver will wear it well:

Expectations aren't necessarily high for the Detroit Lions this season. They went just 3-13-1 last year - the second-worst record in the NFL. 

But there's a lot of optimism that they can make major strides this year. They were competitive in well over half of their games last year despite their record.

If any of their players can channel the kind of effort Matthew Stafford gave on a regular basis, they can make some noise this year.

Should the Lions retire No. 9?