The NFL approved a new rule this week that will allow teams to have an emergency third quarterback on game days. The emergency QB can be inactive and not count against the game-day roster but still dress to possibly play if the team’s game-day QBs suffer injuries.
There is a catch, though. To be eligible to serve as an emergency QB while not counting against the game-day roster, the QB has to be on the team’s 53-man roster. That means practice squad QBs who are elevated to the game-day roster will still count against the 47-player game-day roster.
So if a team wants to take advantage of the extra game-day roster spot by having an emergency third-string QB on the inactive list, that QB can’t be a player elevated from the practice squad.
This could result in more teams carrying three QBs on their 53-man rosters this season. For the Denver Broncos, that could be good news for either Jarrett Guarantano or Ben DiNucci (whoever ends up winning the QB3 job).
Russell Wilson is set to start for the Broncos this year and Jarrett Stidham will serve as the team’s primary backup. If the team wants to have an emergency third-string QB on game days, one of Guarantano or DiNucci (or someone else) will need a spot on the 53-man roster.
Of course, Denver could also elevate a practice squad QB to the game-day roster, but each player is limited to just three elevations per season, and such a move would take up a game-day roster spot.