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It started 26 days ago, with the sudden retirement of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. It culminated today, in the benching of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With the decision, a full 25 percent of anticipated Week One NFL starting quarterbacks currently arent.
First, it was Luck. Then came Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles, who broke a collarbone on the first Sunday of the season. Next came Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who fell victim to, of all things, mono.
Last weekend, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury and Saints quarterback Drew Brees sustained a six-weeks-or-so thumb injury. Next, the Panthers admitted that quarterback Cam Newton has a foot injury, and all signs are pointing to Newton not playing this week (and possibly beyond) no matter how aggressively the team clings to the notion that he’ll be good to go.
Then came the benching of Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Fitzpatrick, pushing the turnover to eight.
The next question becomes who’s next? Injuries can happen at any time, as we’ve seen (the Jets also lost their primary Darnold backup, Trevor Siemian, to a season-ending ankle injury), and benchings could be in the offing for the likes of Washington quarterback Case Keenum and Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (if/when Drew Lock is healthy).
And we’re still only 32 games in to a 256-game regular season.
The good news is that we still have guys like, in no particular order, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, Rams quarterback Jared Goff, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.