NFL teams have begun submitting proposals for rule changes they would like to see for the 2023 season.
The Detroit Lions submitted a notable proposal, which would allow teams to designate a third quarterback to be used in an emergency in games. The Lions’ proposal has quickly become known as the «Josh Johnson Rule.»
If the rule is implemented, teams will be required to withdraw the third quarterback from their inactive list or practice squad. The proposal also stipulates that the emergency quarterback can only be used if the first two quarterbacks are ruled out for the remainder of the game due to injury.
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The league previously had a rule allowing the use of an emergency quarterback, but it was rescinded when the NFL expanded game-day rosters.
Teams are currently allowed to have 46 players from the 53-player roster active on game days.
NFL teams must make an inactive designation no later than 90 minutes before the game begins and, under current rules, cannot make any adjustments.
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Teams generally don’t prioritize having a third quarterback on the game-day active roster. Instead, most teams choose to use the roster spot in another position on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.
Usually, two quarterbacks on game days is enough, but last season’s NFC title game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles seems to have teams rethinking how many quarterbacks they should have. Available on game days.
The Niners certainly had their share of quarterback problems leading up to the championship game. Sophomore quarterback Trey Lance was named the starter at the start of the 2022 season, but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
Lance underwent a second surgery in December to remove hardware that was inserted into his right ankle during the initial surgery in September.
Jimmy Garoppolo then took over the role of starting quarterback. But, the 31-year-old suffered his own injury, breaking his left foot during the 49ers’ 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. Former seventh-round draft pick Brock Purdy, he started for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Purdy suffered a UCL injury in the first quarter of the NFC championship game and was replaced by veteran quarterback Josh Johnson. But, shortly after the third quarter began, Johnson suffered a concussion.
San Francisco was forced to put Purdy back in the game, despite the quarterback’s injury preventing him from making a forward pass.
The Eagles went on to crush the Niners, much to the disappointment of anyone who wanted to see a full game with a chance to go to the Super Bowl on the line.
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Two starting quarterbacks rarely go down during a single game. However, if it does happen, this rule would present the opportunity for at least one caller of decent signal to enter the field.