Professional football has always been an extremely physical sport. Massive and powerful bodies crashing together at high speeds is sure to create a bevy of injuries. NFL Quarterbacks have always been especially susceptible to injuries, but they’ve been dropping like flies this year, and teams are beginning to realize that backups are only one blow to the head away from being every bit as important as the starters. Big-name shot callers such as Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler have recently been knocked out of action, and their backups have been asked to step up and play huge roles in games of great importance. Here are the three best backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
1. Jake Locker
Tennessee’s Jake Locker deserves to be at the top of this list, and he officially began the season as the Titans backup. Over the course of a few short games it became clear that Locker’s skills are far above those of aging veteran Matt Hasslebeck, and the coaching staff was bold enough to make the switch. Locker probably won’t be listed on any roster as a backup for quite some time, and his mobility and quick release have stymied many teams on the Titans 2012 NFL football schedule.
2. Colin Kaepernick
A recent Alex Smith concussion has forced Colin Kaepernick into the bright spotlight of San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, and the lanky and athletic quarterback out of the University of Nevada is certainly a capable replacement. Like any up-and-coming quarterback, Kaepernick will need some time to adjust to the speed of NFL defenses, but if he comes along at the same pace as other good quarterbacks, he could be regarded as a great quarterback within the next few years. Alex Smith clearly isn’t the long-term answer in the Bay Area, so Kaepernick is likely to get the reins in the near future.
3. Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow seems to be a somewhat polarizing presence in locker rooms, and the feedback he has gotten from former and current teammates isn’t exactly flattering. Despite all of this, the young man did step up and play very well down the stretch, or at least in the fourth quarters down the stretch during a run of success which brought the Denver Broncos into the playoffs last season. Broncos fans seem to already have forgotten that Tim Tebow won a playoff game last year against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a dramatic touchdown pass in overtime. Tebow has not been given many chances to have a positive impact on his team this year, but that opportunity is only one Mark Sanchez injury away.