NFL teams are increasingly seeing the risk of preseason injuries as outweighing the rewards of getting players ready for live action. And that’s particularly clear in the numbers of starting quarterbacks who are sitting out.
Midway through the preseason, 12 starting quarterbacks still haven’t thrown a pass: New England’s Tom Brady, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, the Rams’ Jared Goff, the Chargers’ Philip Rivers, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz, Carolina’s Cam Newton, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck, Jacksonville’s Nick Foles and Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky.
Some of those quarterbacks will see some action in Week Three of the preseason, but other teams have decided simply to shut down their starting quarterbacks entirely.
And even the teams that have played their starting quarterbacks generally aren’t keeping them in the game for long. Buffalo’s Josh Allen leads all starting quarterbacks with 22 passes thrown this preseason, while most of the starting quarterbacks who have played at all this season have thrown a dozen passes or fewer.
If the NFL ever reduces the length of the preseason, it won’t have much bearing on starting quarterbacks, all of whom get less than one full game’s worth of action in the preseason.