The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of a quarterback competition between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick, with the end a bit fuzzy. At some point in the next four weeks, Chip Kelly will decide on his starter, and we’ll get a better handle on the depth chart behind that starter.
Although the 49ers will have a starter for Week 1 of the regular season, there is no guarantee that player is No. 1 on the depth chart all 16 games this season. Injuries are always a concern, but also, with questions surrounding the two competitors, the winner of the QB competition just might not work out. And so, the backup could get some opportunities. Colin Kaepernick got some rest on Thursday, but given his shoulder surgery late last year, that is always something to keep in mind depending on how this competition shakes out.
ESPN’s Field Yates recently put together a ranking of all the backup quarterback situations in the NFL. For some teams, the only way the starter does not play is due to injury. More teams are in this situation than not. However, there are quite a few teams where there is a better than even chance one or more of the backup quarterbacks ends up with work that goes beyond just garbage time.
Yates ranked the 49ers No. 23 in this list. He had this to say about the position, covering most of what we’d expect:
Let's say Colin Kaepernick wins the starting job in San Francisco. That leaves Blaine Gabbert as the top backup and Jeff Driskel as the most intriguing young arm in the stable. There are more questions than answers with these group.
I still think Gabbert claims the starting job, but either way, the 49ers backup situation will still be a question mark. I suppose we could see strong performances from both quarterbacks in the preseason, but it’s easy to
Yates ranked the Philadelphia Eagles as having the best backup situation, thanks to Chase Daniel and a developing Carson Wentz. The top five was as follows:
1. Philadelphia Eagles: Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz
2. Arizona Cardinals: Drew Stanton, Matt Barkley
3. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. McCarron
4. Carolina Panthers: Derek Anderson, Joe Webb
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Glennon
As for the bottom five?
28. Detroit Lions: Dan Orlovsky, Jake Rudock
29. Indianapolis Colts: Scott Tolzien, Stephen Morris
30. Tennessee Titans: Matt Cassel
31. Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott, Jameill Showers
32. Seattle Seahawks: Trevone Boykin, Jake Heaps