Star quarterbacks around the league are banged up heading into Week 4, and it seems like an inordinate number of signal callers have gone down with injuries in the early part of 2015. Two of the NFL’s best passers have already been ruled out of their teams’ upcoming games, and at least one more could be added to the list by the weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints are all dealing with injuries to their starting quarterbacks, though the severity of the injuries widely differ. Their backups are a combined 0-2 on the season, and that record could get even worse in Week 4.
Below is a look at the four injured quarterbacks and their chances of playing in Week 4.
Luck’s injury is the least serious of all the quarterbacks, and he isn’t expected to miss any time. But Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Luck is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and the quarterback was limited in practice on Wednesday, saying his shoulder “didn’t feel as good as I would have liked” after Sunday’s game. Luck has never missed a game due to injury, and he might be in the midst of the worst stretch of his career. He’s the only quarterback to ever be intercepted at least two times in five straight games, and his 65.0 passer rating is the worst in the NFL.
The Cowboys' star suffered a broken left clavicle against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. Thankfully for Dallas, Romo doesn’t need surgery and he’ll be back at some point this season. He’s expected to miss eight weeks after being put on short-term IR, and he’s eligible to return on Nov. 22 against the Miami Dolphins. Until then, his replacement is Brandon Weeden, who completed 22-of-26 pass attempts for 232 yards in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Brees feels good about his chances to play on Sunday against Dallas, and head coach Sean Payton remains optimistic. But the quarterback’s status remains uncertain, and Luke McCown might have to start a second consecutive game. Brees said he’s able to do more each day, and he’s looking to help the Saints get their first win of 2015. McCown completed 81.6 percent of his passes for 310 yards in a five-point loss to the Carolina Panthers last week.
The Steelers' starter since 2004 will miss at least four weeks with a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his knee. But Roethlisberger could be out as long as six weeks, which would force him to miss an important divisional game against the first-place Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, their bye doesn’t come until Week 11 when Roethlisberger will likely be healthy. Veteran Michael Vick is the Steelers' starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.