The Cleveland Browns won’t have to cut a quarterback after all.
The Cleveland Browns got a lucky break when NFL ruled that the team can now keep three quarterbacks on their roster, and not have it affect the 53-man roster week to week. This is great news for the Browns, who drafted Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the 2023 NFL Draft with the idea that he’d end up being a backup for Deshaun Watson in 2024.
But to get there, the Browns were forced with cutting Kellen Mond, and either Thompson-Robinson or Joshua Dobbs, the team’s current backup.
The new bylaw that passed states that NFL teams can now carry a third quarterback, and won’t have to be part of the practice squad to do so. Getting a player on the practice squad is risky, as a team can claim them after the player gets released, or can then claim them off the practice squad if they intend on playing them.
Now, Thompson-Robinson can be an inactive-active quarterback, available to play if needed. It does limit what he can do, however. Thompson-Robinson cannot enter the game as a gadget player, however, as ESPN writes;
"The emergency quarterback would be eligible for in-game activation if the rest of a team’s quarterbacks are unable to participate due to injury or ejection, but not as a result of a benching. If one of the other quarterbacks is cleared to return to the game, the emergency quarterback must be removed at that time and can return only if there is once again no other option."
The Cleveland Browns got lucky because the San Francisco 49ers can’t stay healthy
This rule now exists because of the quarterback hell the San Francisco 49ers found themselves in last season when they saw quarterback after quarterback gets injured. While the rule is new for 2024, it’s not a new rule, as teams would routinely carry three quarterbacks from 1991 to 2011, but when the new collective bargaining deal went into place, that emergency quarterback rule was erased in exchange for raising the week-to-week roster limit of 52 to 53.
It should also be stated that while NFL teams can carry 53 players every week on their active roster, only 48 are permitted to dress for the game, for some reason.