The way NFL quarterbacks having been going down or losing their jobs just two weeks into the season, it’s no stretch to wonder who’s next.
The list already is way too long and includes some surprises. Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger hardly ever miss a game, yet Brees is out until sometime in November with thumb damage, and Big Ben is done for the year with an elbow injury. Both required surgery.
Nick Foles’ season was shortened in Week 1 for Jacksonville. The Jets’ Darnold contracted mononucleosis and probably won’t be back until mid-October, and his sub, Trevor Siemian, tore angle ligaments on a brutal tackle by Cleveland’s Myles Garrett.
Cam Newton’s status is dicey because he has aggravated a mid-foot sprain. And don’t forget that Andrew Luck retired from the Colts in the preseason after an accumulation of injuries.
At least Eli Manning didn’t have anything hurt except perhaps his feelings when he was benched Tuesday in favor of his heir apparent, first-round draft pick Daniel Jones.
Is being sidelined an epidemic among quarterbacks? Well, in 2018, the Eagles, Redskins, Panthers, Buccaneers, 49ers, Cardinals, Titans, Jaguars, Dolphins, Ravens, Bengals, Browns and Jets used backups at various times.
Several were because of poor performances by the starters. Others, like with the Giants and Jones, were getting the future into the present on the field.
But Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina, San Francisco, Tennessee, Cincinnati and New York made switches because of injuries. The Panthers probably wish they had shelved Newton and his ailing throwing shoulder much earlier than they did as they dropped seven straight after a 6-2 first-half record.
With quarterback by far the key position on offense in the current NFL, here’s a look at how each team that was forced into or decided to make a change might deal with the situation.
Losing a certain Hall of Famer such as Brees is a monstrous hit, yet the Saints might be in better shape than the other clubs whose No. 1 is on the sidelines. Teddy Bridgewater, while not the same QB he was before a massive knee injury cost him basically two seasons, is a quality backup. Sean Payton will adjust the offense as need be, he has Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas to aid Bridgewater, and the New Orleans defense is gritty.
No, shootouts such as New Orleans fans are accustomed to won’t fit the Saints without Brees. But the NFC South isn’t looking too formidable, and Bridgewater should be able to keep the team in the playoff conversation until Brees returns.