NFL quarterbacks are becoming an endangered species

NFL quarterbacks are becoming an endangered species

It is hard enough to find a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. There certainly are not 32 in the league right now. Finding one in the draft is like discovering that your grandma’s furniture is a valuable antique.

On top of the good fortune needed to acquire a solid starting quarterback, a team needs even more luck for him to stay healthy. The Jacksonville Jaguars were tied for the best record in the AFC going into their Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. While in Cincinnati territory with just under six minutes left in the game, Lawrence got his ankle stepped on and had to be helped into the locker room.

The Jaguars went on to lose the game, 34-31, in overtime, and fell to 8-4 on the season. C.J. Beathard just didn’t have enough to stave off the backup quarterback for the opposing offense, Jake Browning, who went 32 of 37 for 354 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions on Monday night.

Browning is one of several backups who have been thrust into the starting lineup this season. ESPN showed a graphic shortly after Lawrence left the field that listed all of the currently injured quarterbacks who began the season as starters. The ones out for the season were highlighted. I guess the production crew has been forced to humor Aaron Rodgers’ effort to return to the field so his name was not lit up like Deshaun Watson’s and Joe Burrow’s.

There are now four teams in playoff contention that are forced to play backup QB, and the New York Jets have been in that position since less than a half hour after Rodgers ran onto the field with a giant American flag to the roar of the home crowd. All of the quarterback injuries have resulted in a record number of rookies starting at that position.

The Jags can’t blame the MetLife Stadium turf for Lawrence’s injury and there is a strong possibility that they will be without him for the rest of 2023. Kyle Shanahan couldn’t even get a team into the playoffs with Beathard as a starter for an extended stretch. I don’t see how the Jaguars will be able to win enough games for their season to continue into 2024.

NFL starting quarterbacks are the hardest athletes to find, outside of maybe heavyweight championship boxers. Teams like the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns have been searching for most of their existence for a franchise quarterback.

The Jaguars have him. Not even a year under Urban Meyer could wreck Lawrence. He returned in 2022 and led the team to one of the greatest playoff comebacks in NFL history, and also nearly defeated a gimpy Patrick Mahomes.

At 8-3 through 12 weeks, the Jags were facing a team on national television whose season had already been ruined by a quarterback injury. Also, the Kansas City Chiefs have lost three of their last five games, so a No. 1 seed in the playoffs was very much in play.

The AFC was there for the taking and the Jaguars’ hopes disintegrated once Lawrence slammed his helmet on the field in a moment of rage when he realized that he was unable to leave the field under his own power.

For a time it looked like the 2023 season would be one in which the Jags would be a real Super Bowl threat. Instead, Week 13 ended with a loss and in the all-too-familiar situation as the team across from them that was starting a backup quarterback.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.