Mobile, Ala. — Nearly 12 years after the rule was repealed, momentum for change prevailed Sunday afternoon during the NFC Championship Game.
Should the NFL require teams to carry the third available quarterback on game day rosters? Or maybe at least for playoff games?
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says he will support this guideline.
“I’m really for the third quarterback in the game,” Jones told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday of Senior Bowl practices. “I’m going to be a pro. I’ve always been in the middle and over counting. I’m going to be for it.”
To be clear, Jones mentioned NFL teams can Dress up the third quarterback for games now. But the condition for doing so was It was canceled before the 2011 season.
From 1991 to 2010, the NFL required teams to designate on their game-day roster an emergency third player who, if entered before the fourth quarter, would be deemed the team’s first two quarterbacks ineligible to play the remainder of the game. The league subsequently got rid of this rule and instead expanded its matchday rosters from 45 players to 46 players. wanted To provide triple depth at quarterback, instead, you can choose to continue carrying three quarterbacks, or dedicate that spot to depth at another potentially injury-laden position as a lineman.
The result: NFL teams rarely carry an active third quarterback in games.
In the San Francisco 49ersNFC Championship Game vs Philadelphia Eagleswhich proved costly.
The rule for San Francisco was of limited use. The 49ers were already starting third quarterback for the season after that Tri Lance broke his ankle and Jimmy Garoppolo He broke his foot. In the conference championship game, the seventh-round rookie Brooke Purdy He tore a UCL ligament in his throwing elbow, then pleaded a veteran Josh Johnson He was ruled out with a concussion.
The 49ers have been forced to choose between an all-purpose weapon Christian McCaffrey Switching to a Wildcat quarterback, Purdy plays below center while not being able to throw with any power or depth. All-Pro tight end George Keitel I acknowledge The team’s playbook shrank to 15 plays.
The restrictions are doomed San Francisco lost 31-7 In the game Philadelphia entered as a 2.5-point favorite.
Jones said he expects league management to review the rule in this offseason. One possible change could be the addition of a quarterback spot to the current game-day roster number, at least in the playoffs.
The league changed overtime rules to allow both teams to have at least one possession during the playoffs after Kansas City Chiefs rallied to beat Buffalo bills The last postseason was in overtime where the ball was not due to a Bills violation. Could it follow a similar pattern?
“That’s the best way to start and the best way to make decisions is when you have examples, as I say, at very sensitive times,” Jones said of changing the rules that affected playoff outcomes. “And boy, we don’t want teams without players behind the quarterbacks in these games where It’s watched by 50 million people.”
The league introduced more flexibility in its list of restrictions in 2020 as COVID-19 sidelined players throughout the year. Practice squads were expanded, veteran coaching staff rules were relaxed and teams were given the option to bring players up from the practice squad to the active roster at the end of the week.
A similar structure to the quarterback rule can protect teams from quarterback emergencies while also preventing teams from hiding an unreasonable pool of talent in one position—in a league where, arguably, supply is already inadequate.
If players remain on practice squads during the week, only to be promoted at the end of the week as emergency quarterbacks, opponents willing to stick with them on their roster of 53 can still take them.
“You can, as we’ve seen during COVID, add [players]Jones said. “The association wants to have a lot of players on the rosters. So from a club perspective, you want to be really efficient in terms of how many players you have in your squad. That would expand that. You say, well, what you have is another midfielder. on the list, and maybe even put one on the coaching staff.
“But I agree we can’t afford to be ignored when we have a team that’s short on quarterbacks.”