Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: AFC West

Football Friday at The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Since it’s the off-season I thought I’d start a fun project involving NFL history. So I’m going to go division by division and post galleries of football cards (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it’s the four squads of the AFC West — the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers.

Previous galleries: AFC EastNFC EastAFC NorthNFC NorthAFC South, NFC South

Denver Broncos (3)

#7 — John Elway

John Elway football card

#18 — Frank Tripucka

#18 -- Frank Tripucka 1962 Fleer

#44 — Floyd Little

#44 -- Floyd Little 1971 Topps

Kansas City Chiefs (10)

#3 — Jan Stenerud

#3 -- Jan Stenerud 1979 Topps

#16 — Len Dawson

#16 -- Len Dawson 1963 Fleer

#18 — Emmitt Thomas

#18 -- Emmitt Thomas 1972 Topps

#28 — Abner Haynes

#28 -- Abner Haynes 1961 Fleer

#33 — Stone Johnson

On August 30, 1963, rookie RB/KR Stone Johnson suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck during a preseason game against the Houston Oilers while returning a kickoff. He died on September 8 at the age of 23. Although he was only on the team’s active roster during the 1963 preseason, his jersey number 33 was posthumously retired.

#36 — Mack Lee Hill

Just two years after Johnson’s tragic death, the Chiefs suffered another grievous loss when second-year back Mack Lee Hill died at age 25 from complications following knee surgery. A year later, Kansas City established the Mack Lee Hill Award to honor the rookie who best exemplifies Hill’s spirit.

#58 — Derrick Thomas

#58 -- Derrick Thomas 1989 Score

On February 8, 2000, Derrick Thomas died from a massive blood clot that developed in his paralyzed lower extremities and traveled to his lungs. His paralysis was the result of severe injuries sustained in a car accident weeks earlier. On January 31, 2009, Thomas was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his fifth year of eligibility.

#63 — Willie Lanier

#63 -- Willie Lanier 1972 Topps

#78 — Bobby Bell

#78 -- Bobby Bell 1964 Topps

#86 — Buck Buchanan

#86 -- Buck Buchanan football card

Oakland Raiders (0)

The Raiders have never retired any jersey numbers in their five-plus decades of existence, although league rules prohibit Jim Otto’s #00 from ever being issued again. Numbers for even the most legendary Oakland players get recycled on a routine basis.

San Diego Chargers (3)

#14 — Dan Fouts

#14 -- Dan Fouts 1986 Topps

#19 — Lance Alworth

#19 -- Lance Alworth 1968 Topps

#55 — Junior Seau

#55 -- Junior Seau 1995 Upper Deck