Initially, Higgins told Pro Football Focus' "Fantasy Football Podcast" that he would switch to No. 5, his college number, if he scored 10 touchdowns this season. However, he removed that qualifier Thursday and said the change will happen in large part because of another No. 85 who used to play for the Bengals: Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.
"I keep seeing on Twitter, 'Ochocinco 2.0,'" Higgins said. "I don't want to be a 2.0. No disrespect to Chad. He's a great receiver, this and that. I just don't want to be a 2.0 for myself, man. I want to be Tee Higgins, 1.0, No. 5."
Johnson was one of the most colorful and prolific players in team history. In addition to legally changing his last name to Ochocinco at one point and being known for his touchdown celebrations, he also leads the franchise in several career categories, including receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Higgins said he didn't want the number change to be that big of a deal, and he plans on having a big second season while wearing No. 85. The team's top receiver in 2020, Higgins had four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Once Higgins changes his number, there's a decent chance he may be the last Bengals player to wear 85.
"I just feel like Chad's done so much for this organization," Higgins said. "I just got a good feeling that his number is gonna get lifted one day."