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2024 NFL Offseason: A Backup Quarterback Quiz to Remember the 2023 Season

How well do you remember the 66 players who cycled in and out of starting lineups? Test your memory of the second-stringers, and beyond, who were, at some point, QB1.

The 2023 NFL season was the year of the backup quarterback, as star signal-callers seemed to go down on a weekly basis. In all, 66 different players started a game under center, with such understudies as Joshua Dobbs and Tommy DeVito briefly becoming main characters in the NFL’s soap opera. That’s two shy of the record set in ’22. How well do you remember some of the other backups who cycled into teams’ lineups and our lives? Take the Great Backup Quarterback Quiz to find out.

a graphic with the text “Passing Acquaintances’ On it, with joshua dobbs and tommy devito both running with the football overlayed over a silhouette with a question mark

1. I signed with a new team in 2023 to reunite with my former offensive coordinator. I started a game in Week 7, but after he was fired as head coach I was inactive for the rest of the season.

2. I exited my first career start with a concussion after just 11 snaps, before Joshua Dobbs rallied our team to a win. Dobbs and one other quarterback started games before I finally got another chance to start in Week 17.

3. As an undrafted rookie out of Shepherd University, I started four straight games in October and November, including a Thursday night affair against the Carolina Panthers.

4. I started one game for the Los Angeles Rams while Matthew Stafford was out with a thumb sprain, and we tallied a mere 187 yards and three points. After being waived, I spent time on two more rosters: the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.

5. I finished sixth in the 2016 Heisman Trophy voting, played my final college game in the ’19 Rose Bowl and then didn’t take an NFL snap until this season. I won three of my first four starts.

6. Unlike some of the QBs who seemed to come out of nowhere this season, I began my career as a first-round pick. Now on my third NFL team, I took over for a fellow first-rounder until I was eventually benched for the third-stringer.

7. My first career start was a 63–21 blowout loss in Week 15, in which I threw three touchdowns but had two turnovers returned for scores the other way. I kept my job as starter for the rest of the season.

8. I am a fifth-round rookie who started one game for the Cardinals in Week 9—after Dobbs was traded to the Vikings and before Kyler Murray returned from his torn ACL.

9. I am a veteran of 13 NFL seasons with more than 38,000 career passing yards to my name. I stepped in for a September start when my team’s rookie quarterback was out with an ankle injury.

10. I was one of five quarterbacks to start for the Browns this season. I am not Deshaun Watson or Joe Flacco, nor am I Week 18 starter Jeff Driskel or the player who once led the XFL in passing yards and touchdowns.


1. Brian Hoyer reconnected with second-year Raiders coach Josh McDaniels after they had previously spent time together on the Patriots. Hoyer was then sent back to the bench in favor of Aidan O’Connell.

2. Jaren Hall started for the Vikings in Week 9. Dobbs and Nick Mullens then started games for Minnesota before he returned to the lineup.

3. Tyson Bagent started four straight games for the Bears when Justin Fields went down in October, including a Thursday night win over Carolina.

4. Brett Rypien filled in for Matthew Stafford for one game in November. He was later waived, leaving Carson Wentz in place to start a meaningless Week 18 game for the Rams.

5. Jake Browning is the longtime backup who earned Heisman Trophy votes at Washington in 2016 and then finally got on an NFL field after Joe Burrow’s wrist surgery.

6. Mitchell Trubisky was a 2017 first-round pick of the Bears, who spent the 2021 season on the Bills before heading to the Steelers. He backed up Kenny Pickett to start the season and was later replaced by Mason Rudolph.

7. Easton Stick got his first starting snaps in the Chargers’ blowout loss to the Raiders. But with Justin Herbert on the shelf, he started each of Los Angeles’s final four games.

8. Clayton Tune got one start for the Cardinals, a 27–0 loss to the Browns.

9. Andy Dalton started for the Panthers in Week 3 and made no other passing attempts this season. Carolina was the fifth team he has started for in his career.

10. Dorian Thompson-Robinson started for the Browns in Weeks 4, 11 and 12. PJ Walker is the XFL legend who joined him in Cleveland’s revolving door at quarterback.