In the unlikely event that three quarters of the way through the season all the quarterbacks an NFL team had were injured, what are the options? Is it stuck with the players it has?
Injured Reserve gets them off your roster (effectively) for the season. I hear that Daunte Culpepper is out there…so is Byron Leftwich. Hell, give Jeff George some money. He’ll come out of retirement for anyone!
So, yeah. Free agency.
I hear every team has Vinny Testaverde’s number on speed-dial!
At any given time, there are plenty of players at just about any position that can be called in for a tryout–players who tried out in training camp and didn’t make it, players released by their former teams, etc. If the QBs in question are placed on IR (injured reserve), I believe those roster spots are open for replacements.
You also kinda figure that a couple of your halfbacks or wide receivers played QB in high school or college- talented players who don’t quite measure up as QBs are often moved to a different position when they move up a league. If you’ve got only one or two games left and you’re already out of the playoffs (and if you’ve had all your QBs injured, I assume your record is pretty bad) you might save your money and let a seasoned vet who’s played the position in the past move up.
That almost happened to the Arizona Cardinals last year. Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner both got hurt in a game. The team did not have a 3rd string quarterback, so they would have had to use Anquan Boldin, a wide receiver as QB. Warner was still able to finish the game and the next week the team put Leinart on IR and went out and signed Tim Rattay and Tim Hasselback as 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks.
Byron Leftwich now bleeds black and gold.
Ah. I wasn’t aware. Good for him.
Tony Dungy has an unusual NFL record.
He was previously however, a star quarterback for the University of Minnesota.
Tiny hijack from a relative rookie as far as football goes: I heard that he and Culpepper were up for Steelers QB. Wasn’t Dante a Pro Bowler? Is Leftwich any better? A friend of mine termed him a good solid veteran for the position. Accurate?
The 2005 New York Jets lost two quarterbacks in one game. Chat Pennington and Jay Fiedler both went down, leaving them with the immortal Kliff Kingsbury and Brooks Bolinger. Vinne Testaverde came out of retirement as a stopgap.
Going further back, there was the famous case of the 1965 Baltimore Colts. Johnny Unitas went down and his backup (a pretty good quarterback himself) Gary Cuozzo also ended up disabled. Running back Tom Matte took over at QB – with a list of plays taped to his wrist (remember, this was when the QB called the plays) and managed to win the final game of the season to tie them with Green Bay for the division championship. He led them against Green Bay and ended up losting 13-10. The list of plays is in the Football Hall of Fame.
Culpepper wasn’t content to be a back-up, he wanted to compete for the starting job. In Pittsburgh the starting job is Roethlisberger’s to lose. Leftwich also has some history with the Steelers’ QB coach which didn’t hurt him. I think he knows that injuries happen often enough that he has a good enough chance of getting in, and also he has some more time to learn the playbook. He’s received a lot of accolades, on the Steelers messageboards at least, for his good attitude.
As far as who’s better, I don’t know. They both have strong arms and Culpepper clearly has better mobility. To me there isn’t a clear winner there but I do think Byron is a better fit for the Steelers right now.
In case the OP is asking what happens in the immediate circumstances…
I once read that in the event that all QBs are knocked out, many teams plan to have their punter fill in for the rest of that game. The rationale is that you’ll be calling primarily running plays from here on out, and the punter is the only player on the team who has trained in the most important aspect of the running play (for the QB): receiving the snap.
My father claims to have seen this happen in an NFL game.
But isn’t the distance snapped very different for QB (even on shotgun) and punting?
I didn’t say it was a perfect theory. But in its favor, most punters also take the snaps for the placekicker.
I don’t remember this, but I do remember a Steelers game where the punter got hurt and the announcers were talking about Terry Bradshaw (who had been a punter in college) taking over those duties.
Most teams carry three QBs nowadays, so it’s not likely for them to have no QB available.
But there is usually someone on the roster who played QB at some level – if only high school. He would end up taking snaps and handing off the rest of the game. I doubt they’d bother to call a pass play – just run out the clock and get the game over with so they could work on getting someone the next week.
Once the game is over, there are always QBs available – people who were cut from other teams*. They wouldn’t be the best for the job, and might take more than a week to learn the team’s particular system, but they would be a substitute until one of the regulars came back.
*The Patriots had two free agents – I forget the names – available to replace Tom Brady, but decided against hiring them.
I thought the OP was asking about what would happen during a game if all the quarterbacks got injured.
In which case, yes they are stuck with whoever they have on their team at that moment. If they are lucky, they have somebody athletic on their team who played a little QB in High School or College.
If they are stuck between games- like everybody is saying- they scour the available free agents and bring somebody in.
Wayne Waker a Det. Lion linebacker kicked field goals and extra points.
I imagine that losing a lot is also an option.
In the early 90s Brian Mitchell, who was the kickoff return specialist/running back for the Washington Redskins, came in as emergency QB during the game. The first and second string guys got injured in the game and Mitch went under center.
I’m pretty sure they lost that game.