No one has worn No. 21 in Washington since Sean Taylor was murdered in November 2007 and no one will ever wear it again.
The Washington Football Team announced on Thursday that Taylor’s No. 21 will go from unofficially retired to officially retired. The team will hold a pregame ceremony with members of Taylor’s family before they face the Chiefs at FedEx Field.
“I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model,” team president Jason Wright said in a statement. “The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways.”
Fans will receive a commemorative towel and Washington players will wear a helmet decal honoring Taylor.
Sammy Baugh and Bobby Mitchell are the only other Washington players to have their numbers retired by the organization. A number of other numbers have been taken out of circulation without being officially retired.