Matthew Stafford sees a safety benefit to NFL’s new emergency QB rule
The NFL made a few rule changes this offseason, one of which allows teams to have a third quarterback available on game days without taking up a roster spot. The “emergency quarterback” must be on the 53-man roster, so if the Rams want to take advantage of the rule, they’ll still need to have three quarterbacks on the regular-season roster.
But rather than having three quarterbacks active on game days when only 46 players can be available, teams can now have 46 players plus a third quarterback. This is directly in response to last year’s NFC title game when Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson both got injured in the 49ers’ loss and they didn’t have a third quarterback available.
Matthew Stafford just learned of the rule change during an interview with J.B. Long and D’Marco Farr on Thursday and his initial response was positive. He remembers when the NFL had this rule in place years ago and he’s in favor of bringing it back.
He even sees a safety benefit in the sense that quarterbacks will be more honest about injuries if they know there’s a third guy available, not feeling like they have to stay in the game and battle through an injury.
“I remember them going away from it, thinking it was maybe going to help develop quarterbacks in some aspect and also get an extra special teams-type player, somebody that can really help in the core special teams stuff on the field,” he said. “I’m glad to have it back. I think from a safety standpoint, guys will be more willing to be honest with whatever’s going on with them. If they need to be out of a game, if they know they have a third guy waiting there to go in. glad to see it. I think it’s good for the league.”
Stafford just hopes the Rams never have to put it to use.
“Yeah, no. I mean, absolutely not,” he said.
The Rams carried three quarterbacks on the active roster all year in 2022, keeping Bryce Perkins around as the third option. Perkins was typically inactive because the Rams never expected to need him with Matthew Stafford and John Wolford available, but under this new rule, he could’ve been the emergency quarterback without taking up a spot on the 46-man game-day roster.
If the Rams keep three quarterbacks again this year – potentially Stafford, Stetson Bennett and Brett Rypien – one of the two backups could be the emergency option on game days. The emergency QB can only get into the game if the two quarterbacks ahead of him are unable to play, but it’s still a valuable safety net for teams.
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