Sep 17, 2019

Injuries usher in the NFL's year of the backup quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

We're just 2 weeks into the NFL season, and quarterback injuries have already put a damper on it.

Driving the news: After suffering injuries on Sunday, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is out for the year (elbow surgery), and Saints QB Drew Brees is expected to miss 6 weeks (thumb surgery).

  • Meanwhile, Jaguars QB Nick Foles broke his collarbone in Week 1, and Jets QB Sam Darnold missed last night's Monday Night Football game with mono (and then, right on cue, his backup got hurt).

The big picture: Looming over this unfortunate start to the season is former Colts QB Andrew Luck, whose shocking retirement in August put a new face on just how debilitating football can be.

Looking ahead: The NFL has gotten off to a great start ratings-wise, but QB injuries could negatively affect a bunch of upcoming primetime games.

  • The Steelers play 3 of their next 5 games in primetime, the Jaguars play the Titans on Thursday, the Saints play the Cowboys on SNF in 2 weeks and the Luck-less Colts are scheduled for 3 primetime slots.

The bottom line: Welcome the the year of the backup QB.

  • Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last season, the Eagles were the only one that didn't keep their starting QB healthy the whole year. It doesn't look like the league will be so lucky this time around.

Go deeper: The NFL preseason isn't what it used to be

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NFL sends less-winning teams to play in London for 25th time

Chicago Bears running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. (38) and Chicago Bears runningback David Montgomery (32) at summer training camp. The team will be playing in London against the Oakland Raiders. Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

On Sunday, the NFL will play its 25th regular-season game in London. And for the 25th straight time, the game will not feature 2 winning teams (3-1 Bears vs. 2-2 Raiders).

Why it matters: The NFL has been going to London since 2007 — the same year that the first iPhone debuted and "Superbad" came out — and they have yet to organize a single football game between 2 teams with winning records.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019

Houston QB D'Eriq King makes an unprecedented redshirt decision

Houston's D'Eriq King. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Houston senior QB D'Eriq King will not play the remainder of the season so that he can redshirt and preserve his final year of eligibility, the school announced yesterday. Senior WR Keith Corbin will do the same.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented decision that takes advantage of a rule change implemented last year that allows players to take a redshirt after participating in up to 4 games in a season.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

Ben Roethlisberger hit with $5,000 fine for his Apple Watch

Photo: Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Injured Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was fined $5,000 for wearing his Apple Watch on the sidelines during a recent game, per ESPN.

The big picture: Devices that are capable of transmitting voice or data, with the exception of those approved by the league (like coaches' headsets or the Surface tablets), are not allowed on NFL sidelines. Apple, which got a whole lot more than $5,000 worth of free marketing, was a big winner.

Go deeper: Traditional sports look to new tech to survive