Will the Detroit Lions Carry Three Quarterbacks Again in 2012?

By Joyce Dunne

I was surprised when I read in a post by Detroit Free Press writer Dave Birkett that only 14 teams in the NFL carried three quarterbacks for the entire season.

I understand that each spot is vitally important to get right and that a team may need to fudge the QB depth chart to secure a needed player in another position. But there’s a reason you hear corporate types in other businesses refer to a key project leader as the quarterback. For more than half of the teams in the league to forgo a third quarterback during at least some portion of the season seems more risky than average.

In his Jan. 18 post, Birkett says Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew prefers to carry three QBs, even if, as was the case this year, only two dress for games. His rationale is simple: the potential for injuries. Witness the Houston Texans, who saw starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinert (oh, Matt, I thought you finally had something working for you there!) go down to season-ending injuries in quick succession.

The argument for carrying two or three quarterbacks is pretty straightforward and situational. Mayhew says the decision will be based in large part on whether the potential third quarterback is among the best 53 players. Despite my interest in shoring up the position for the long season, that notion is hard to argue with.

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