Every season, without fail, a slew of NFL starters get injured or lose their first-team status, enabling their backup to fill the void, if only temporarily. Here's a look at some who have filled the gap this season, beginning with Brad Johnson, who took over the Cowboys offense after Tony Romo suffered a broken pinkie on his throwing hand.
2 of 12David Bergman/SI
He famously hadn't started a game at any level since high school, but after a Week 1 injury to Tom Brady, Cassel was the man in New England.
3 of 12Simon Bruty/SI
In a Week 6 win over the 49ers, Correll Buckhalter didn't just fill in for the injured Brian Westbrook; he played like him. In his second start of the season, Buckhalter ran for 93 yards, picked up another 85 receiving and scored a touchdown.
4 of 12John W. McDonough/SI
Lance Moore hurdled into the Saints starting lineup after a Week 3 groin injury to David Patten. Moore has benefited from being on the receiving end of Drew Brees's passes, posting games of 101, 97 and 90 yards, while notching three touchdowns.
5 of 12Thomas E. Witte/SI
Collins has undergone a career resurgence after two years as a backup in Tennessee. The 14-year veteran has made the most out of the chance to fill in for Vince Young, leading the undefeated Titans to seven wins, though he has thrown for only 1,056 yards and three touchdowns.
6 of 12Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMI
A rookie out of West Virginia, Slaton earned the starting job in Houston with a huge Week 2 performance in which he ran for 116 yards and a touchdown. Even with Ahman Green back from an ankle injury, Slaton has kept his starting duties.
7 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
Unhappy with the results from third-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, the Vikings turned to the experienced arm of Gus Frerotte after Week 2. Frerotte has led the previously winless Vikes to a 3-2 record since taking over.
8 of 12Bob Rosato/SI
When Brandon Lloyd was sidelined by a knee injury, Devin Hester stepped up as a legitimate deep option for Kyle Orton. In Lloyd's absence, Hester hauled in 16 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
9 of 12Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Third on the depth chart coming into the season, Harris was pushed into starting following injuries to Shawne Merriman and Jyles Tucker. In three starts at OLB, Harris had 1.5 sacks, 10 tackles and two forced fumbles.
10 of 12Bill Frakes/SI
Moore filled in for the injured Willie Parker, and had a huge game against Jacksonville, in Week 5. The fifth-year back ran for 99 yards as the Steelers moved to 4-1 with the 26-21 win. He scored three touchdowns in next game and one more the week after that.
11 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
With Carson Palmer fighting an inflamed elbow, the Harvard-educated Fitzpatrick has taken the Bengals' reigns. In four starts, he has thrown for 627 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions.
12 of 12AP
After a solid preseason, it took middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch three games to move past Ryan Fowler on the Titans' depth chart. The third-year man led the way in shutting down Adrian Peterson in his first week as a starter, notching five tackles in the 30-17 win.
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