Buccaneers Reveal Emergency QB Plan

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady hands off the ball in a Week 12 loss to Kansas City.

Tampa Bay hopefully won’t have a quarantined quarterback room as the Denver Broncos did a week ago.

If the Buccaneers end up with COVID-19 impacting the quarterback situation, the team will need an emergency plan, as do the other 31 teams in the league. ESPN reported on teams’ emergency quarterback plans last week after the Broncos played without a quarterback on the roster, due to the signal-callers being quarantined, in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine wrote that Bucs head coach Bruce Arians decided against enlisting a quarterback to quarantine separately from the others in the event of a COVID outbreak. Laine also noted that the Bucs have some of the lowest COVID numbers in the league with six players (and no quarterbacks) on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“I don’t think we need to (quarantine a quarterback), just because of the protocols that we’re following really closely, so I don’t think we would have that problem,” Arians said according to Laine.

Tampa also had a late bye this past week, which should help the team recover from existing ailments as well as staying healthy down the stretch. The Buccaneers (7-5) will host the Minnesota Vikings (6-6) this coming Sunday in Week 14.

Bucs’ Backup QB Options

Behind starting quarterback Tom Brady, the Buccaneers have Blaine Gabbert at backup and Ryan Griffin at third string. If the Bucs need to dip into the practice squad, they also have a 2018 first-round pick in Josh Rosen.

Gabbert, the No. 10 overall pick in 2011, joined the Bucs in 2019 as a backup behind Jameis Winston. The former first-rounder has seen limited action in three games this season, throwing only 1 pass. The ninth-year veteran hasn’t started a game since 2018 when he played for the Tennessee Titans.

Griffin, an undrafted seventh-year player from Tulane, threw 4 passes in 2019. He has the most longevity with the franchise of the three quarterbacks, initially joining the Bucs in 2015.

Rosen joined the Bucs practice squad in September after being waived by the Miami Dolphins. The Arizona Cardinals originally drafted Rosen, but moved on from him quickly to draft Kyler Murray. Rosen didn’t pan out in Miami either after playing in six games for the Dolphins in 2019.

Fortunately for the Bucs, Brady has been durable for years despite playing into his early 40s, last missing a start in 2008 due to an ACL tear in Week 1.

Perfect Against Purple

Brady has a little extra on the line when the Bucs host the Minnesota Vikings (6-6) next week, having never lost to the NFC North foe in his 21-year career, per USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes.

The list of teams Brady has yet to lose to, according to Reyes, stands at only four clubs, including the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and, ironically, the Bucs.

Brady last carved up Mike Zimmer’s defense in 2018 with 311 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-32 passing. The Brady-led Patriots beat the Vikings 24-10 that day. However, this year’s Vikings squad has a younger defense than two seasons ago, and Brady has more Pro Bowl-caliber skill players to work with this year as well.

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