NFL approves bylaw to allow third QB to dress on gameday

May 22, 2023, 11:35 AM | Updated: 2:25 pm

Josh Johnson #17 of the San Francisco 49ers looks for a receiver during the NFC Championship playof...

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 29: Josh Johnson #17 of the San Francisco 49ers looks for a receiver during the NFC Championship playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the 49ers 31-7. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

While it may be the offseason for the NFL, the league office is working on some new rules for 2023. The latest is the addition of an emergency quarterback on game days.

The league office released a memo Monday morning, explaining the approval of 2023 Bylaw Proposal 1A, allowing any team to dress a third QB for games. This new rule allows franchises to have an emergency third option without taking up a roster spot on gameday. The “emergency QB” can only be used if the other two gunslingers suffer an injury or dismissal from said game. Any team is not permitted to use the third-string option unless it is an “emergency” situation.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the news after the league office issued the memo. The new bylaw was approved at the Spring League Meeting in Minnesota Monday.

The previous bylaws stated that NFL teams could only roster two QBs on gameday. If a third QB was needed to dress, it would cost the franchise an additional roster spot.

This issue arose after the NFC Championship game last season, when the San Francisco 49ers suffered game-changing injuries to not one, but two signal-callers. The Red & Gold lost starter Brock Purdy on the first series of the game to a torn UCL, while backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion early in the second half.

The Philadelphia Eagles won that game 31-10.

Unofficially known as the “Brock Purdy” rule, the 49ers will likely be one of the teams utilizing this in 2023. Having Purdy, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold already on the roster, San Francisco feel that the extra safety net of a third option would benefit them in the long run.

“Definitely would be in favor of it,” coach Kyle Shanahan previously said, via “We were scared to death when that rule ended, whatever many years ago that was. You kind of forget about it since you don’t see anyone have to go through it, but then you get reminded of how quickly a football game is over once that happens. So I think that would be a very smart thing to have.”

“I think it would be good for football,” general manager John Lynch added. “You’re always trying to develop these guys, but you’re always weighing that, carrying three as opposed to their roster value of being able to host a full complement of position players at different positions. I think if the league just kind of gave you an out there, everybody would be forced to do it, you’d have more people in camps improving, I think it’d be good for football.”

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