NFL Releases Q&A on Emergency 3rd QB Rule Change Ahead of 2023 Season

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The NFL announced in May that teams had voted in favor of allowing a 49th player to be dressed as an emergency third-string quarterback in regular and postseason games.

However, no specifics on the updated policy were released.

On Monday, the league broke down the new rule further ahead of a Week 1 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions on Thursday.

Under the new rule, an emergency third-string quarterback must be on a team’s 53-man roster and cannot be an elevated practice squad player, the league said in a Q&A on the updated policy.

Teams must also have two quarterbacks on its 47/48-player gameday active list to designate an emergency third-stringer. The third-string quarterback can’t play unless both other active quarterbacks are unable to take the field either due to injury or disqualification.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Answers to all your questions about the return of the emergency third QB rule, via the <a href=””>@NFL</a>. <a href=”″></a>

Answers to all your questions about the return of the emergency third QB rule, via the <a href=””>@NFL</a>. <a href=”″></a>

The NFL’s Q&A also outlines several other stipulations to the rule, including:

During last year’s NFC championship game between the 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco was left without a quarterback after both Brock Purdy and backup Josh Johnson suffered injuries.

That led to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan using star running back Christian McCaffrey at quarterback at times. San Francisco fell to Philadelphia 31-7. Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance suffered season-ending injuries during the regular season and were unavailable.

The New England Patriots are expected to be one such club impacted by the new policy this season.

New England waived both Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham during training camp last month before signing them to the practice squad.

The franchise then claimed former Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Corral, who slotted into a spot on the 53-man roster that was vacated by wide receiver Tyquan Thornton. The Patriots placed Thornton on injured reserve with a shoulder ailment and he will be sidelined a minimum of four weeks.

As ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes, the Patriots will not be able to elevate Zappe from the practice squad on Sunday and make Corral the emergency third-string quarterback. Mac Jones is entering his third season as the team’s starter.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday during an appearance on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show (h/t NESN’s Dakota Randall) that Corral is “a player we wanted to work with” after scouting him at Ole Miss.

However, while speaking with reporters later during a video conference on Monday, Belichick was unsure whether Corral would be the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said. “He hasn’t even been on the field yet. We’ll see.”

Unless something changes prior to Sunday, it appears Corral will serve as Jones’ backup for a Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

This content was originally published here.

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