Release The Backups: Some Familiar Names Are Taking The Field This Sunday In Final Week Of NFL Season

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Week 18 in the NFL brings a lot of hope; multiple teams are competing to clinch a playoff spot and large parts of multiple teams’ fanbases are hoping their favorite franchise loses in an effort to secure a better draft pick. But no man has more hope than the backup quarterback getting his first shot of the season and Week 18 has quite a few notable ones.

First, there’s Carson Wentz. The former second overall pick and Super Bowl champion once looked like he’d be a perennial MVP candidate. Multiple injuries, however, derailed his career and a couple poor seasons with Indianapolis and Washington later, Wentz was out of a job.

But alas, Week 18 brings hope for all. After the Los Angeles Rams signed Wentz in November to serve as depth behind then-injured starter Matthew Stafford, Wentz hung around and will now finally get his shot.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that the Rams, who are locked into the NFC’s sixth seed in the playoffs, will rest starter Matthew Stafford and give Wentz the start.

The opportunity, aside from being a chance to stay sharp in case the Rams need him in the playoffs, is also an audition for Wentz. It’s his chance to prove to any QB-needy team in 2024 that he’s still got it. Who knows, in the 2022-23 season, the Rams brought in Baker Mayfield to replace the injured Stafford and he parlayed it into a starting gig with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are just one win away from clinching their division for the 2023-2024 season. (RELATED: Jimmy Kimmel Fires Back At Aaron Rodgers After QB Jokes He Will Be On Epstein Client List)

Another familiar face set to pop up is the Kansas City Chiefs‘ journeyman backup quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert, who earned himself a Super Bowl ring serving as Tom Brady’s backup in Tampa Bay, will earn his first start since 2018, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. As Schefter notes, the Chiefs are locked in to the AFC’s three seed.

But the craziest and most unlikely starting QB of them all will be the Cleveland Browns’ Jeff Driskel, who they literally just signed this week. Driskel was brought in so the playoff-bound Browns could rest current starter Joe Flacco (who was brought in to replace the last starter, and so on). Flacco gets a well deserved rest after steering the Browns to the playoffs, where they’re locked into the AFC’s fifth seed.

Driskel will be the Browns 5th starting quarterback this year, joining a list that includes Flacco, $230-million man DeShaun Watson and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Driskel will be looking to win the second game of his career in his 11th start.

In a season that’s seen 58 different quarterbacks start a game (still short of the 2022 record of 68) we’re about to see three more. I love this time of year. Anything can happen. Who knows, one of these guys may very well be your favorite team’s starter in 2024.