Should teams keep a backup quarterback in quarantine?

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In recent years, plenty of teams haven’t kept a third quarterback on the roster. This year, there’s potential value in keeping an extra quarterback off the roster.

The issues and uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic include the possibility that, out of nowhere, the starting quarterback will test positive and, in turn, be instantly quarantined. So what if, before the starting quarterback tests positive, he infects the backup quarterback?

And if there’s a third quarterback who is regularly practicing or meeting with the rest of the team, what if he’s infected, too?

Even though the players on the team who continue to test positively toward negative would still be eligible to practice and play, it would be very difficult to win without a quarterback on the roster.

So how about this idea, which is based on a question from a reader named Wayne: Every franchise would have a quarterback under contract who is kept away from the team entirely and completely until a need for his services arises.

It makes plenty of sense for every team to have, essentially, a quarantined quarterback. Someone who is part of the team but not part of the team. Someone who is generally isolated from society in the event that the worst-case scenario happens for a given team’s depth chart.

Perhaps this year the league should alter the roster rules to permit one quarterback to be hired and kept away from anyone and everyone until all quarterbacks on the roster and practice squad (however many they choose to keep) test positive. And maybe it shouldn’t even be optional; maybe the league should mandate that every team has that one extra quarterback in order to ensure that games will be not just played but watchable.

Then again, it’s unclear how watchable a game would be if quarterbacked by a player who can’t make it onto a regular roster. But any quarterback is still better than no quarterback, and one of the very real dynamics of pro football in a pandemic is that there’s a chance there will be no quarterback who tests negative for the virus.

35 responses to “Should teams keep a backup quarterback in quarantine?

  1. This is a good idea, but only if the extra QB has to stand on the sideline inside of a glass case with a hammer attached via string.

  2. Yes and they live in house, doing Big Brother (Reality show) activates with zero communication to the outside

  3. Good thought but how does the guy stay game ready and synch with receivers by not practicing with the team?

  4. Using that logic, you probably have already lost bulk of the starting offense, the qb coach and likely the head coach as well. Last concern is having a third string QB.

  5. I’m going to tell every girl at the bar I’m the quarantine quarterback in diligent pursuit of my first kiss.

  6. Im 50. There literally wasnt this much panic in the 80’s when AIDS first became known.

  7. Why does PFF keep coming up with these weird unnecessary scenarios lol. If the QB is infected then there’s a good chance it’s spread to WRs and coaches, is 3rd string QB really that crucial at that point.

  8. Eli Manning is willing to quarantine for free. So, the Giants could throw him some change to stay ready.

  9. Not a good idea. There will be UFA QBs out there that will be ready to sign on a moment’s notice, if needed. The teams don’t need to have one in hiding. They just need to practice a base offense that is prepared to be implemented in emergency. If the QB comes in and the rest of the team already is prepared for the Base QB, it will work out fine.

  10. what makes more sense to me is teams should give several players who where either high school or college quarterbacks who play other positions up to snuff with handing the ball off for running plays and a few passing plays-and be prepared to go to 2 tight end and fullback offenses.

    increasing the size of the roster to 70 players(60 plus 10 practice squad) and make game days 60 players.

  11. Sounds like a recipe for the worst QB play ever. No practice with the team? No working out with the trainers? The player wouldn’t be in game shape, let alone in sync with the team. Better off having a WR or RB run a wildcat/RPO offense in a pinch.

  12. arwiv says:
    May 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm
    Im 50. There literally wasnt this much panic in the 80’s when AIDS first became known.

    One of the stupidest comparisons on PFT ever and that covers a lot of ground…

  13. Allow the teams to have an extra complete roster under quarantine. Total quarantine in a bubble with guards not ever allowed to leave and have them tested every hour.

    Come on man. Stop the madness.

  14. The coronavirus is literally no different than the flu and is generally only deadly to the elderly or very young. It is insane this is still an issue.

  15. Debbie Downer, as expected. SMH.

    and @whycantiloginanymore, I am your age. Difference was we knew nothing about AIDS at that time and made a lot of incorrect assumptions about how it wasn’t transmitted. We kinda know that 1.65M people have COVID in the US. And we know north of 90K have died from it. We know it is easy to transmit from proximity. And we know football is about proximity. So while I won’t go so far as to call it “stupid” (everyone is entitled to an opinion), I will agree it isn’t a very good comparison.

  16. Lets just grow more QBs for this year because they are so easy to come by.

  17. I didnt compare AIDS to covid in terms of how dangerous they are (OBVIOUSLY AIDS was basically an automatic death sentence back in the day, corona isnt close)….Im comparing the PANIC level of the two.

    Good grief.

  18. NinoBrown says:
    May 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm
    Eli Manning is willing to quarantine for free. So, the Giants could throw him some change to stay ready.
    As long as he can sell his quarantine worn game day jersey

  19. How would he practice if he was away from the practice field? Wouldn’t it be better if all the players just drank detergent or whatever Trump said? Then nobody would have to worry. You’re a snowflake if you don’t drink detergent.

  20. Have a Bubble on the sideline for the 3rd string QB. Bubble Boy.

  21. Cowboys sign Cam… let Dalton start, Newton back up and put Sacked Prescott in quarentine

  22. Leman Russ says:
    May 23, 2020 at 6:39 pm
    The coronavirus is literally no different than the flu and is generally only deadly to the elderly or very young. It is insane this is still an issue.


    CDC estimates that, at the high end, 62,000 people died from the flu during the last flu season. 1 October 2019 to 4 April 2020. A little more than 10,000 people per month, at the high end. The US just broke the 96,000 death mark, and the first death happened the second week of February. That’s more than 24,000 deaths per month, averaged out. 10,000 deaths in a month versus 24,000. How is this even close to being simply the flu?

  23. They should just allow for a second bye week when needed in case of an outbreak. I’m sure there will be a few.

  24. I like when he brought up the idea that Covid played into drafting a QB in the second round for the Eagles. Howie Roseman looked at him like are you for real dude.

  25. Buffalo has done this all year with Jake Fromm. He works out with a select group on the field and attends all meetings and film sessions remotely away from the team and other QBs. Its really not that big a deal. I’m sure there are other teams doing the same (Josh Mckown)

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