Aaron Rodgers, Anthony Richardson, Kirk Cousins or Deshaun Watson – Which Quarterback’s Absence Is Hurting the Team & Fans the Most?

Published 11/16/2023, 8:51 AM EST

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This season might as well be called the “Season of Fallen Quarterbacks”. And when veteran starting quarterbacks fall, rookies come to take their place. This season gave the opportunity to 10 rookie quarterbacks to start for their teams, the highest in any season so far. While some rookies, such as CJ Stroud, have managed to lead their teams to victory, most have been unable to fill in the giant shoes of their predecessors.

How have teams performed with the lack of their veteran quarterbacks? Some are doing well, some not so much. Rookie QB’s lack of camaraderie with veteran players, and lack of experience playing at a professional level, have caused their teams to suffer. And with most of the veteran quarterbacks suffering from season-ending injuries, the picture is not going to improve anytime soon.

Browns suffer without Deshaun Watson while Jets mange without A-Rod


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On Wednesday, devastating news came for the Cleveland Browns. Their star QB Deshaun Watson will have to go through surgery to repair a season-ending fracture in his right shoulder. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will fill in for Watson. He has big shoes to fill, as in the five games that Watson has started, the Browns have won 4 of them. Without Watson, the Browns have a losing record of 1-2.

USA Today via Reuters

Next up is Aaron Rodgers. The 4x NFL MVP truly proved to be the New York Jets’ talisman as they lost 3 consecutive games, after losing him to an Achilles injury. But Zach Wilson seemed to pull up his socks and led the team to win 3 back-to-back wins. The Jets now stand at 4-5, and that too without Rodgers, since his contribution was negligible in the first game as he went down just four plays into the season opener.

What about the two other high-profile injuries of this season?

Dobbs surpasses Cousins while Richardson’s absence not felt by the Colts

Kirk Cousins also met the same fate as Aaron Rodgers and is currently rehabbing from his Achilles injury. His injury came late toward the middle of the season and he had left the Minnesota Vikings in a good position. With him, the Vikings were 4-1. While without him, the Vikings have a losing record of 2-3. Josh Dobbs, better known now as the “Passtronaut”, is making big plays on the gridiron and has won both the games that he played.


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USA Today via Reuters

Indianapolis Colts QB Anthony Richardson seems to have no effect on his team’s performance, as both with and without him, the team has a 0.500 record. With Richardson, they were 2-2, and now without him, they are 3-3. The Colts are up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the coming week and now have a chance to either register a losing or winning record. This one game will decide their fate.

Read More: Deshaun Watson Suffers Season-Ending Shoulder Injury. When Is He Expected to Make a Comeback?


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With almost half of the season still left, only Aaron Rodgers is expected to return before the postseason. That too is a low-probability scenario, as he does not want to rush his recovery process. He has seen the least action out of the 4 QBs, and has a chance to make a dent if he returns this season.

Watch this story: Tom Brady Swoons Over Coach Prime’s Fiery Attempt to Break Shedeur & Co’s Fantasy Bubble After “Mediocre” Win


Written by:

Jakso James


One take at a time

I am a hardcore believer in the ‘Mamba Mentality’, which certainly applies to the NFL. The sport is not just about physical prowess but also demands a powerful mindset. Growing up, I spent time with athletes on the neighborhood soccer field.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav