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The Detroit Lions want to make sure that no one else runs into the same quarterback situation the San Francisco 49ers faced in the NFC Championship Game.
You might recall — unless you’re a 49ers fan who blocked it out like childhood trauma — but the 49ers effectively ran out of functioning quarterbacks in the game.
Starter Brock Purdy hurt his throwing elbow early in the game and was replaced by backup Josh Johnson. However, Johnson wound up getting knocked out of the game with a concussion. That meant that Purdy was thrust back into action, despite not being able to throw the ball.
This must have spooked the Lions because they were the ones who submitted the bylaw proposal and not the 49ers.
Seems like a solid idea. Given how things worked out for San Francisco it’s tough to think any team would fight this. Eventually, someone will find a loophole and exploit this, but for now, it seems like a solid idea.
However, the NFL is missing an opportunity to grab headlines in a way that the NHL has mastered. Football needs its version of hockey’s emergency backup goalie or EBUG.
In this case, they need to implement emergency backup quarterbacks or an EBUQ.
The Lions’ Proposal Is Fine, But The NFL Needs EBUQs.
They should follow the NHL’s template to a T. In short, the home team would secure the services of an emergency backup quarterback. He can be used by either team should the need arise. This could be anyone. Someone who played some QB at a D-II school back in the day, or maybe some plumber who plays semi-pro football on weekends.
For most games, the EBUQ would just sit in the press box and eat nachos. However, on the off chance that a team has both QBs go down, he can put down the nachos and spring into action.
If you’re familiar, with how this works for the NHL, it’s thrilling to see a “normal guy” suit up and play in the big leagues.
The only thing that would be more fun to watch from a fan standpoint would be some kind of raffle system. In the stadium on game day, washed-up high school and junior college QBs who want to show that they still have it can throw their names in a bucket. Then, if needed we reach into the bucket and pick a fan to jump into the game.
There’s a higher chance that the selected person’s football career didn’t go past Pop Warner — or that they’re completely hammered — but at least the randomness would make things fair.
Whatever the league decides to do, the NFC Championship from this year was probably enough for most teams to want a safety net.
Just in case they find themselves in a similar situation.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle