The owners of the National Football League approved a rule Monday that will allow teams to designate an emergency quarterback on game day, a rule that was brought up after the San Francisco 49ers ran out of healthy quarterbacks during their NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The rule is set to only apply to quarterbacks who are on the team’s 53-man roster. Practice squad players are not eligible to be the emergency quarterbacks, not even if they are elevated for that week’s game. But it allows a team to a void counting the emergency quarterback as one of it active players on game day, which allows teams to have a 3rd quarterback on the roster without him counting on the team’s roster.
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 only return if there is once again no other option.