If you’re a veteran quarterback in the NFL who started in Week 2 and you’re in line to start again in Week 3, you’re one of the lucky ones. A lot of your peers haven’t made it to Week 3 for one reason or another. So, what exactly went wrong with veteran quarterbacks over the past week?
Well, it started with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 37-year-old suffered an elbow injury that kept him out of the second half of Pittsburgh’s 28-26 loss to the Seahawks. The next day, Roethlisberger received the same news countless major league pitchers have when he learned his elbow would require Tommy John surgery. The procedure will keep Roethlisberger out for the rest of the season, forcing the Steelers to turn to Mason Rudolph to dig them out of their 0-2 hole.
The injury bug also bit Drew Brees in Week 2. Early in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game between the Saints and Rams, Brees suffered a torn ligament in his thumb. In what could end up being his final NFL season, Brees is expected to miss at least six weeks. Such a timeline could keep Brees on the sidelines until the Saints return from their bye week in Week 10. New Orleans faces three playoff teams over those six weeks, so it won’t be easy for the Saints to survive with Teddy Bridgewater and Tayson Hill splitting time at quarterback.
Of course, it wasn’t just injuries taking veteran quarterbacks off the field. After starting the year 0-2, the Giants decided to bench Eli Manning and name rookie Daniel Jones the starter for Week 3. Manning isn’t necessarily to blame for the Giants losing their first two games.
However, the Giants have started 0-2 for the third consecutive season, and coach Pat Shurmur can surely feel the season starting to get away from them. One could argue that this move is change for the sake of change, but it’s also possible that this is the changing of the guard at quarterback for the Giants, just a little sooner than anticipated.
Up In The Air
Meanwhile, things remain very much up in the air for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. He came back from offseason shoulder surgery and then dealt with a foot injury suffered during the preseason. Newton continues to be hampered by that foot injury to the point that his status for Week 3 is uncertain.
He hasn’t been practicing during the week, and despite insisting that his quarterback would be ready to play, Carolina coach Ron Rivera walked out of a press conference on Thursday rather than continue to field questions about Newton’s status. If Newton isn’t ready, Kyle Allen will make his second career start in Week 3.
Backups Not Safe
Finally, it was even a bad week for veteran backups. Trevor Siemian was pressed into duty in Week 2 after Jets starter Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mono. Siemian figured to get at least a few starts while Darnold recovers, only to suffer a season-ending injury against the Browns on Monday night. The Jets are now turning to third-string quarterback Luke Falk for at least one game until Darnold is healthy enough to return.