Week 8 in the NFL was a harsh reminder of how brutal the game can be, especially for the quarterbacks. We witnessed some incredible performances but also had to bear the pain of seeing a few star signal-callers go down with injuries.
The quarterback position is undoubtedly the most vital in the world of sports, and these injuries will have a significant impact on these teams. But it’s not just the pass catchers who’ll feel the heat; running backs and everyone else will be in the mix too. Let’s take a look at which QBs went down and how teams are going to move forward without their top signal-caller.
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins tearing his Achilles on Sunday was certainly the biggest news of the weekend as this no-doubt altered the entire rest of the season for the Minnesota Vikings.
Another angle of Kirk Cousins injury.
— Hipp Sports (@HippSports) October 29, 2023
In steps the rookie, Jaren Hall, straight out of BYU, and he’s got a big job ahead of him. He’s only had four pass attempts in his NFL career so far, so needless to say, he has absolutely no experience as a starting NFL QB. The Vikings are already without star WR Justin Jefferson, and now with Cousins out, they may take their time getting Jefferson back on the field. The Vikings have really struggled to run the football this season and they’ve been hopeful that new signing Cam Akers can help in that department, but that remains to be seen. Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson have been great in Jefferson’s absence, but losing Kirk Cousins really puts Minnesota in a tough spot. It’s going to be interesting to see what Jaren Hall can do, with Cousins out.
Matt Stafford – Los Angeles Rams
It looks like Stafford suffered a thumb injury when he pulled off a “Philly Special” redux during a two-point conversion in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. Now, we’re left wondering how long he’ll be sidelined and whether surgery is in his future.
Matt Stafford is the ultimate gamer making this play with a hurt thumb pic.twitter.com/C9QSdJvOsH
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) October 29, 2023
Stafford was forced to leave the game early and we’re not sure how long he’ll be out. Justin Fields has missed two games because of a broken thumb. So, it’s clear that Stafford’s thumb situation is a big deal for the Rams.
If Stafford has to ride the bench for a bit, enter Brett Rypien, a backup QB with limited NFL experience but now has the keys to the Rams’ offense. The good news is that he’s got Cooper Kupp, who’s back in action after a preseason hamstring hiccup, and the sensational Puka Nacua, who’s tearing up the league with 752 receiving yards.
Now, if one of these guys is going to get more passes coming their way, it’s probably going to be Kupp. He’s the slot receiver, and Rypien might just lean on him with those short, reliable throws. Nacua, on the other hand, might have to wait his turn, especially if Stafford’s hiatus is longer than expected. We’re still waiting to hear the severity of Stafford’s thumb, but it appears he’ll miss at least one game depending on if he needs surgery or not.
Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett left Sunday’s game with a rib injury and 2017 second-overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky stepped in. Trubisky started the first four games of last season before stepping aside to let Pickett take the QB reins. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Trubisky made two late-season appearances in 2022 for Pickett, who had to leave a game due to a concussion. So, when the call came again, he was ready to step up. Last season Trubisky totaled just over 1,200 yards passing with 4 TDs and 5 Ints. Mitch is the most experienced of the QBs on this list that will step in, but the Steelers offense hasn’t been very explosive all year.
Desmond Ridder – Atlanta Falcons
Some Falcons fans have been calling for Taylor Heinicke to get a start over Ridder who only has 6 TDs to 11 turnovers this season, and those people finally saw Heinicke on the field on Sunday, and he did not disappoint. The former Commanders starting QB led the Falcons to four scoring drives while throwing for 175 yards and a TD. Heinicke was outshined by Titans rookie QB Will Levis making his NFL starting debut by throwing for 238 yards and four TDs. It’s unclear how severe Ridder’s concussion is or if he’ll miss time, but it feels like we have a bit of a QB controversy brewing in Atlanta.
Tyrod Taylor – New York Giants
The Giants were already without starting QB Daniel Jones and Taylor was filling in for his third game in a row when he was forced to exit Sunday’s game with a rib injury. Taylor was replaced by rookie QB Tommy DeVito who had a very unwhelming performance and finished with a surprisingly bad stat line. DeVito completed two of seven pass attempts for a total of -1 yards. He did rush four times for 12 yards, but the Giants ultimately blew a late fourth-quarter lead and lost in OT to the Jets. It appears Daniel Jones may be ready to return this week, so DeVito may go right back to the backup role.