George Iloka discusses wearing Adrian Peterson’s Vikings number for now
By Adam Carlson
At least for now, George Iloka will wear jersey number 28 for the Vikings, something fans of Adrian Peterson may not like considering the legacy of All Day.
When it was revealed that new Minnesota Vikings safety George Iloka would be wearing the number 28 jersey for the team, many fans on social media began to cry foul, stating that the number should always belong to a different player.
Over the years, the number 28 in Minnesota has become synonymous with Adrian Peterson, at least in the modern era of Football. While historians of the team may associate the number with Ahmad Rashad, odds are that this jersey number will eventually be retired by the Vikings in honor of the man who broke just about every rushing record for the franchise.
News of Iloka wearing the jersey number was first reported without any context by Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune on Twitter, making it sound as though this was going to permanently be his number>
However, the reality of the situation is that Iloka has doesn’t plan on wearing the jersey number 28 for the Vikings during the regular season and is only wearing the number because of availability. He spoke about that situation in an article on the Pioneer Press website:
"“Honestly, the roster’s full right now,” Iloka said. “They just rushed me from the plane to practice. I just think that was the only number available, so they just threw me in it.”"
Iloka continued, recognizing what the former Vikings running back as done for the team and how he is one of the NFL’s greats at his position. He thinks of the jersey number as a placeholder until a different number becomes available.
"“Obviously, what (Peterson) was for the Minnesota Vikings, no one can match, future hall of famer, an elite running back. I don’t think it’s bigger than what (anybody tries) to make it. It’s just they had to throw me the number to get out there. After everything settles down, most likely I’ll switch it to a different number.”"
In Cincinnati, Iloka wore the number 43, which is currently shared by fullback Luke McNitt and linebacker Reshard Cliett. If neither of those players makes the team’s final cut to end up on the team’s 53-man roster, it would make sense for Iloka to claim that number entering Week 1 of the regular season.
However, there is also the chance that George Iloka will choose a different number from the one he wore with the Bengals, opening the door to a wide variety of numbers once cuts are made.
Which number do you think George Iloka should wear during the Minnesota Vikings 2018 NFL season? And do you think the jersey number 28 should be considered ‘untouchable’ considering the career Adrian Peterson had on the field for the franchise? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.