The number 44 is typically worn by football players who play the halfback or fullback position. Players who have worn the number 44 include Heath Evans, Leory Kelly and John Riggins. Both Kelly and Riggins are in the National Football League Hall of Fame.
The National Football League has regulations regarding which position players can use which jersey numbers. Running backs are restricted to using the range of 20 to 49. This system is more strict than high schools and colleges, which typically use much larger number ranges. High schools and colleges only require specific numbers to identify which players are eligible to catch a pass. Although the NFL has used this system since 1973, some exceptions have been made.
Some notable players have worn the number 44 at the college level, including Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, who also attempted to wear the number when he was drafted into the NFL. Of the aforementioned NFL players to wear this number, John Riggins had some of the most noteworthy performances. Appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls, Riggins was dominant in Super Bowl XVII, in which he ran for 166 yards on 38 carries. He led Washington to a 27-17 victory over Miami.