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99 Days Of 99 Jersey Numbers: #83

Posted Jun 16, 2014

Like #85, this jersey number was worn almost solely by receivers, including a member of the Marks Brothers.

As we tick the days off to the season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 7, each day we highlight the players who wore that particular jersey number during their tenure in Miami. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.

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Like #85, this jersey number was worn almost solely by receivers, including a member of the Marks Brothers. but was also worn by one defensive standout. Offensively the player who made the greatest impact while wearing this number was Mark Clayton (1983-92), who joined Mark Duper to form the “Marks Brothers” receiving duo. Like Duper, Clayton ranks among the top three Dolphin career leaders in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdowns, as they combined with Dan Marino to produce one of the most prolific passing attacks in NFL history. When Clayton notched 18 touchdown catches in 1984, it  set an NFL single-season record, and 30 years later it remains tied for the third highest total in league history. The only defensive player to wear the number was a good one – defensive end Vern Den Herder (1972-82). He wore #86 his first season in the league (1971), but switched to # 83 a year later. He ranks fourth in team history in sacks, and his five sacks against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 21, 1973 is still tied for the most sacks in a game by any Dolphin. Following his career, Den Herder was named to Miami’s Dolphins’ Silver Anniversary team. The number also was worn by wideout Wes Welker (2004-06), who had a productive tenure with the Dolphins (including a 67-catch season his final year in Miami) before going on to greater heights as a member of the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. Additionally, the jersey was first worn by tight end Dave Kocourek, who led the Dolphins in receptions (with 27 catches) in their inaugural 1966 season. 

The complete list of Dolphins who have worn #83 includes Kocourek (1966); Jim Cox (1968); Den Herder (1972-82); Clayton (1983-87); *Dameon Reilly (1987); Clayton (1987-92); Scott Miller (1993-96); Brian Manning (1997); Hendrick Lusk (1998); Hunter Goodwin (1999-01); Albert Johnson (2002); Robert Baker (2002); Sam Simmons (2003); Welker (2004-06); Greg Camarillo (2007-09) and Kevin Curtis (2010).

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Tomorrow: What jersey number was worn by more players than any other in Dolphins history?

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PREVIOUS JERSEY NUMBERS: 99 | 98 | 97 | 96 | 95 | 94 | 93 | 92 | 91 | 92 | 90 | 89 | 88 | 87 | 86 | 85 | 84

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