13 teams enter regular season with only two quarterbacks


Even though the new labor deal allows a 46th player to dress on game day and ditches the goofy and confusing emergency quarterback rule, nearly half of the league’s teams have decided, for now, not to keep three quarterbacks.

The Ravens, Bengals, Jaguars, Dolphins, Raiders, Chargers, Falcons, Packers, Saints, Giants, Rams, Bucs, and Redskins have opted to stick with two quarterbacks on the active roster.

Those who won’t have a third quarterback likely believe that, if the first two quarterbacks are injured during the same game, the team already is screwed.  And devoting a third spot on the active roster to a quarterback, even if he can dress on game day, means that there will be one less spot for another position on the 53-man roster — and one less spot on the 46-man game-day roster.

[Editor’s note:  A prior version of this item incorrectly said that the 46th player on the roster had to be a third quarterback.  Actually, it can be any player at any position.  I have yet to come up with a way to blame the mistake on Rosenthal, but I will continue to try.]

28 responses to “13 teams enter regular season with only two quarterbacks

  1. The way the Packers look at it, they have one of the best QB’s, and one of the best backup QB’s. If both go down, we have several guys with QB experience (including Cobb, who played some in college). I’m sure a lot of other teams who only have 2 are in a similar position, having other players who could play QB.

  2. Bucs? What a difference a few years make.

    And many would argue the Redskins, Raiders and Dolphins have 0 QBs on their roster.

  3. The Dolphins have 2 QB’s that could start in the UFL but none that are NFL quality.

    The Patriots have the best three QB’s in the AFC East

  4. 1) Brady
    2) Hoyer
    3) Mallett
    4) Fitzpatrick
    5) Henne
    6) McElroy
    7) Moore
    8) Sanchez
    9) who cares, Andrew Luck sweepstakes

  5. Why every team doesn’t just have 2 on the active roster with one on the practice squad is beyond me.

  6. I wonder if the Bears last year only had 2 quarterbacks when they played the Giants how that would have gone…

    If you put in a WR do you commit to handing the ball off every play? The QB’s WITH reps couldn’t manage the Giants’ blitz package. Not to mention even if the QB had made the right call, the OL just couldn’t match up… What would have happened if you throw in a WR who has very little experience spotting a blitz? POW your WR is now injured and has less experience feeling a rush coming so he is more likely to get nailed… Jus saying…I am surprised how after last year what happened so many teams are willingly putting themselves at a significant risk…

  7. A couple of things-

    1)Expect at least a few QB’s (Edwards with the Raiders, maybe?), to sign up after week one, when their money won’t be guaranteed at all.
    2) If your 3rd best QB in camp wasn’t either a developmental prospect, or a guy you feel strongly that you can win with if 1 and 2 go down, why have them on the roster?

  8. Yes, the 46th active can be any position. The New CBA actually ended the requirement that the 46th player be a QB (and be subject to some goofy rules about when he can play.) Now your 46th active can be anybody on your roster.

    Even with the 3rd QB rule in place, teams didn’t always keep a 3rd QB for game day situations. The Packers, for example, kept 2 QBs all year until Rodgers had to miss the game against New England, at which point they added a third.

  9. C’mon guys, just because they’re going through the 53 cutdown roster shuffle right now doesn’t mean several of those teams won’t be re-signing a 3rd QB back (most of them their own guy) sometime after the first game.

    Teams can protect someone else at another position with the 3rd QB’s roster spot & bring the QB back later at non-guaranteed prices (since to resign after the first game means you can cut them again if you get in a roster crunch later & not having to guarantee the entire rest of the $$$season with them).

    Even #3 QBs command relatively high contracts compared to other positions so this is a procedural device the owners insisted on to $$$ave them money on the roster$$$ dancing.

    You can also plug in a new, say, RB sooooo MUCH more easily than a strange QB not familir with your playbook & terminology. It’s not like they’re interchangeable cogs to be shuffled like a deck of cards compared to other positions.

  10. cmahdavi says: Sep 6, 2011 9:44 PM

    I wonder if the Bears last year only had 2 quarterbacks when they played the Giants how that would have gone…

    I wish the Bears had only 2 QBs in the NFC Championship game last year.

    Then you don’t piss away an entire quarter with Todd Collins stinking it up and lose by only 7 points.

  11. The Lions won 2 extra games last year because they had a third string qb so it can happen! And yeah I know we still didnt have a great season so you dont need to point it out haha!

  12. y5nthon5a says:
    Sep 6, 2011 9:21 PM
    The way the Packers look at it, they have one of the best QB’s, and one of the best backup QB’s.

    I don’t get it. What criteria is used to determine that Flynn is such a great QB? The vast well of experience his 83 career pass attempts have given him? The 60% comp% and 6 YPA?

    How about we wait until he actually wins a game before we anoint him the next great one, k?

  13. Sorry I am disgusted.

    Not only do you consistently leave the 49ers out of the daily news for each team (which can be proved by referencing past articles) you show a picture of the 49ers…who technically have Scott Tolzien as the 3rd QB, but you have it listed for an article that has only 2 QB’s.

    I’m glad you love “Sam Francisco” so much, but guess what!!!…there are other 49er fans who actually pay attention!

    Please give us the respect we deserve…we’ll be forcefully gaining it soon enough! 😉

  14. Considering how well Graham Harrell handled the ball for the Packers, going to just 2 quarterbacks is probably an improvement.

  15. There could be some action in store for some of these guys…
    if i’m not mistaken some may have been added to their respective practice squads…

    Chad Pennington, QB, Dolphins (doubtful)
    Marc Bulger, QB, Ravens
    Nate Davis, QB, Colts. Age: 24
    Jim Sorgi, QB, Giants. Age: 30
    J.P. Losman, QB, Seahawks. Age: 30.
    Charlie Frye, QB, Raiders. Age: 30
    John Parker Wilson, QB, Falcons. Age: 25.
    Brodie Croyle, QB, Chiefs.
    Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns.
    Trent Edwards, QB
    Jarrett Brown, QB (Rookie)
    Rudy Carpenter, QB
    Kellen Clemens, QB
    Sean Canfield, QB

  16. @dawkinseffect:

    Because they had 5 guys in camp, including Culpepper’s workout, and still can’t come up with a guy that isn’t ridiculed…whereas the teams listed have found 2 they believe in.

    In other words, “that’s the joke.”

  17. The Bucs have (WR/KR) Michael Spurlock penciled in as their third QB. Spurlock played QB at Ole Miss behind Eli Manning before being converted to WR/KR in the pros. The veteran knows the offense well, and regularly takes snaps in practice.

  18. youboettcha says: Sep 6, 2011 10:59 PM


    They then would’ve had Collins stinking it up the rest of the game. Remember, he was the #2 QB.

    No… if they had only carried two QBs for the season Todd Collins would have never been signed.
    If Hanie plays the entire 2nd half of that game the Bears probably win and go to the Super Bowl.

    The Packers offense did nothing in the 2nd half of that game and it was their D that scored their last TD.

  19. If Hanie plays the entire 2nd half of that game the Bears probably win and go to the Super Bowl.

    Thats possible. But it’s also possible he would have thrown 3 more pick6’s.

    If chinadoll cutler breaks a nail you may just get a chance to find out.

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