The Detroit Lions have retired 6 Jersey numbers in their history. Number 7, number 20 which has been worn by three players before it got retired, number 22, number 37, number 56 and number 85.

Players’ jersey numbers are retired by NFL teams in honor of those who have made major contributions to the team’s success or who died tragically while playing for the team. A player’s jersey number is never given to another player unless the player or the team officially approves it, much like in other leagues.

A list of all Detroit Retired Jerseys Numbers

No. 7 

Dutch Clark

Clark was the starting quarterback for the 1934 Detroit Lions, who finished second in the NFL West behind the unbeaten Chicago Bears with a 10–3 record under his belt. With 1,146 total offensive yards and eight running touchdowns in 1934, Clark was the NFL’s leading rusher with 763 rushing yards and third with 383 throwing yards (fo

No. 20

Barry Sanders (also worn by Billy Sims and Lem Barney)

The fact that all three players had the same number on their uniforms makes them a unique group in team history.

Barney began wearing it as a rookie in 1967 and continued to do so until the end of his career in 1977.

While playing high school football in Hooks, Texas, Sims wore No. 20 and was selected first overall by the Detroit Lions in 1980. A career-ending knee injury in Game 8 of the 1984 season ended Sims’ playing days at age 20.

When the Lions selected Sanders in the third round of the 1989 draft out of Oklahoma State, they gave him the No. 20 jersey.

When Sanders hung up his boots at the conclusion of the 1998 season, the number was officially retired.

No. 22

Bobby Layne

One of the all-time greats as a leader and as a quarterback. Due to injuries, he was unable to participate in the ’57 championship game for the Lions (1952-53 and ’57). His ability to arrange comebacks provided players the belief that they could win as long as the clock was ticking towards the end of the game.


Doak Walker

When he retired, Walker was third in NFL history with 534 points (excluding 21 playoff points) in six seasons. Additionally, he rushed for 1,520 yards on 309 attempts (4.9 yards per carry) and had 152 catches for 2,539 yards, a total of 1,520 yards (16.7 yards per reception). The Detroit Lions retired his jersey (No. 37) in 1955, making him the first Lion to have his jersey retired.


Joe Schmidt

One of the pioneering middle linebacker founders when teams replaced the middle guard in the five-man line with a linebacker. Nobody in Schmidt’s era – and very few since — played it better. He stopped the run and everything else. Had 24 career interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries, including a league-high eight in 1955.


Chuck Hughes

In two seasons with the Lions, Hughes caught nine receptions for 194 yards, according to Pro Football Reference’s database. During a play with less than a minute remaining versus Chicago on October 24, 1971, Hughes collapsed on the field.


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