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The Ideal Candidate to be an Emergency Quarterback in the NFL

After watching Sam Bradford injure his knee and tear his ACL in a game against the Panthers, I wished that maybe, just maybe, Kellen Clemens could come in and save the day.  Obviously that did not happen. But what would have happened if Kellen Clemens had gotten hurt as well? Who would come in? The third string quarterback? 

QB Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams. Courtesy of stlouisrams.com
QB Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams. Photo courtesy of stlouisrams.com.

Well, before a rule change in the new collective bargaining agreement, that would be a game killer for a team to do. And for most teams, the third string quarterback is a waste of a roster spot, therefore they are usually inactive for the game. Yet, this emergency quarterback situation is an issue for every team to consider when its starting quarterback goes down.

Every team has someone they have designated as the in game “emergency quarterback.”  That does not necessarily mean that the specific player who is designated as the emergency quarterback will actually be listed as a quarterback on the depth chart.  The Tennessee Titans use wide receiver Damian Williams as their emergency quarterback, the Green Bay Packers use wide receiver Randall Cobb, the Cincinnati Bengals use wide receiver Mohammed Sanu, and so on and so forth.

But how does a team decide who is going to be their emergency quarterback in case they need one?  Well for starters, the player is almost always an offensive player, and more so, he is usually a wide receiver.  It makes sense because a receiver obviously knows the routes that the receivers run. Also, the emergency quarterback has almost always played the quarterback position at some point in their career, whether it be in college or high school or maybe even in the NFL.  These players are usually more skilled at throwing the football than some others.

No team really wants to use their emergency quarterback unless it is on a trick play.  These guys don’t even practice the quarterback position during the week, and that is simply because it will just take reps away from the real quarterbacks.  But because most teams only activate two quarterbacks, there is a realistic possibility that the emergency quarterback will have to prepare to play the quarterback position if the starter goes down. 

So what player is your favorite emergency quarterback?

About Thomas Herring

Thomas Herring is from San Antonio, Texas and is a Junior at Maryville University. He is a Liberal Studies major with a concentration in Political Science and a History minor. He hopes to someday go to law school and work in public interest law.

One comment

  1. I would like for you to have done the research on the Rams team and selected your ideal Rams’ QB. I’d really like to know who it would be.

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