Weighing the impact for Broncos of NFL’s third QB rule change and Thursday night flex scheduling

The NFL’s ownership group approved a rule change regarding quarterbacks and a resolution approving the flexing of games into and out of Thursday night during Monday’s meetings in Minneapolis.

Let’s look at both and how they could impact the Broncos in 2023.

Extra quarterback

The rule change gives teams the ability to activate an emergency third quarterback without counting against its gameday active list of 46 players, but that extra quarterback can only enter the game if the two other quarterbacks are hurt or otherwise unable to play.

From the league’s Competition Committee:

Effect: Permits each club to designate an emergency quarterback who can be activated from its Inactive List if the two quarterbacks on the club’s Active List are injured or disqualified and unable to participate in the game.

Reason: Integrity of game.

The interesting part about this rule is the third quarterback has to be on the 53-man roster in order to be designated as the emergency player. Carrying three quarterbacks on the 53 is hardly a league-wide practice. When the 2022 season opened, only 12 of 32 teams had three signal-callers on their initial rosters, according to a Post tally.

Of course, roster needs change over the course of a season, but when Russell Wilson injured his hamstring in Week 6 last year, the Broncos promoted Josh Johnson from the practice squad for Week 7 to serve as Brett Rypien’s back-up rather than adding him to the 53-man roster. That strategy preserves a spot on the 53, but it has its limitations because each player can only be promoted from the practice squad three times in a season.

The question, then, is whether more teams view keeping a third quarterback as a better bet now that he doesn’t count against a gameday 46 even though he does count against the 53.

In Denver, the rule change could have an impact on either Ben DiNucci or Jarrett Guarantano, who as of now look to be battling to be third in line for coach Sean Payton behind Russell Wilson and Jarrett Stidham. In the years that Payton had Drew Brees in New Orleans, he tended to keep only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Wilson overall has been an ironman in his career, but was on the injury report for three different issues — shoulder, hamstring, concussion — in 2022.

Payton’s thoughts on this change will be interesting.

Thursday flex scheduling

According to reports, Thursday night flex scheduling passed 24-8 after some haggling between the March meetings and this week. The Broncos and CEO Greg Penner voted in favor.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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