Backup quarterbacks are cool again

With a flurry of starting quarterbacks going down in the first two weeks, these guys are a few teams’ last hope

Quarterback is the most important position on a football team. They are an extension of the coach on the field and the leader of the team off of it. When a team’s starting quarterback goes down, all eyes immediately move to the backup.

Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew was drafted in the 6th round, 178th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2019 NFL draft. Minshew was selected out of Washington State, where he won the PAC 12 Offensive Player of the Year award in 2018. He had to step into the starting role for the Jaguars during week one after starter Nick Foles broke his collarbone in the first quarter. Minshew has done a decent job filling in for Foles as he is averaging 244 passing yards per game, while he has thrown for three touchdowns and has only thrown one interception. Minshew is expected to keep the offense going as the Jaguars have invested both draft capital and money into revamping their receiving core in the last few years.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater was once viewed as the franchise quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, but now he has the tough task of coming in and replacing a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. Bridgewater has only played in seven games since suffering a horrific knee injury during practice back in 2016. Teddy showed some rust when he came in for the injured Brees, completing only 56% of his passes and throwing for only 165 yards in a loss to the Rams. The Saints think highly of Bridgewater as they made him the highest paid backup quarterback in the league this past offseason, signing him to a one year $7.25 million deal. With the Saints coming into the season with Super Bowl aspirations, it will be Bridgewater’s job to keep them afloat until Brees returns to the field.

Mason Rudolph

Mason Rudolph was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 3rd round, 76th overall in the 2018 NFL draft. Like Bridgewater, Rudolph will also be replacing a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. Rudolph made his NFL regular season debut in the second quarter of week 2 against the Seahawks after Roethlisberger went down with an elbow injury. His comeback attempt fell just short as he threw for 112 yards, while adding two passing touchdowns to go along with an interception. Rudolph will have a chance to show the Steelers that he can be their quarterback of the future as Big Ben’s future with the team is murky at best.

Being a backup quarterback in the NFL is one of the toughest positions in sports as they always have to be ready to jump in during the middle of the game and lead the team. It is even tougher when you are a young and unproven player tasked with replacing a future hall of famer. Only time will tell if these young guys can get the job done.

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