Among the questions that have to be answered about the coming NFL season is how teams will deal with players testing positive for COVID-19 and one thought that came to our minds recently was keeping a third quarterback on the roster but away from the team so that he’d be healthy if the team needed him to step up in the case of an infection.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has had the same thought. Arians made an appearance on former NFL defensive end Chris Long’s podcast and Long asked him about the prospect of keeping a quarterback away from the facility during the season.
“Yeah, that’s one of the things I’ve been pondering the last two or three weeks as we set the protocols,” Arians said. “From what I’m understanding is if you test positive, you get quarantined for two weeks. Now, if you have no symptoms, I don’t know what that means. Is it a false one? There’s so much to learn and still explore with this thing, but I’ve thought about keeping the third quarterback on the roster out of the room. We have two guys that have been in our system, really sharp. So, I might have to quarantine a quarterback just in case of a quarantine.”
Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin are the two backups to Tom Brady in Tampa and, as Arians mentioned, both know the team’s offense after spending last season with the team. Other teams don’t have such experienced backups and others will have roster needs that may make keeping three quarterbacks difficult, so we’ll likely see a variety of approaches to handling the future twists and turns of an unusual football year.