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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Madison Williams

Nearly Half of NFL Teams Will Start a Backup Quarterback in Week 17

The 2023 NFL season is the year of the backup quarterback, to say the least.

Heading into Week 17, at least 13 teams will have backup quarterbacks in the starting position as of Thursday afternoon.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco headlines the list again this week as he comes off three wins in a row with the team. He will face another backup quarterback against the New York Jets and Trevor Siemian on Thursday night.

Another backup matchup includes the Indianapolis Colts and Gardner Minshew vs. the Las Vegas Raiders and Aidan O’Connell. Additionally, the Denver Broncos will start Jarrett Stidham for the first time this season after benching Russell Wilson on Wednesday. He will face the Los Angeles Chargers’ Easton Stick on Sunday.

The other backups starting this week include New England Patriots’ Bailey Zappe, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mason Rudolph, Atlanta Falcons’ Taylor Heinicke, Cincinnati Bengals’ Jake Browning, Washington Commanders’ Jacoby Brissett, New York Giants’ Tyrod Taylor and Minnesota Vikings’ Jaren Hall.

The list could possibly be added on to in the next couple days. For example, if Houston Texans starter C.J. Stroud, who returned to practice Thursday, doesn’t return to the team’s lineup, then Case Keenum or Davis Mills would get the start. The status of Jacksonville Jaguars QB1 Trevor Lawrence and the Tennessee Titans’ Will Levis are also up in the air.

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