With Jameis Winston serving his 3 game suspension during the first 3 weeks of the season, the presumed starter is veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Regarded as one of the better backups in the league, and he has had some success behind center as a starter. Most of which was with the New York Jets in 2015 where they went 7-9. That season Fitzpatrick did throw for 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. That said there has been a split reaction among the fan base on their faith in Fitz to lead the team through the first 3 games of the season. Some have even hinted that 3rd string backup Ryan Griffin could give Fitz a run for his money.
The reality is that on paper the chances are slim to none that Griffin unseats Fitzpatrick. In the NFL though the unexpected happens more frequently than most of us would think. So let’s entertain this scenario as this is what we do to pass the time during this lull in the NFL off-season.
In the NFL, it just takes one unforeseen circumstance for a relatively unknown or inexperienced player to make an impact. Perennial backups like Nick Foles and Casey Keenum were both thrust into action as their starting QB’s were injured. At the beginning of the season no one gave either of these players a shot to have sustained success, but they proved any doubters wrong. In fact, they weren’t just successful, but one actually lead his team to a Super Bowl win and the other was one game away from reaching that same game themselves. If Griffin seizes his opportunities in training camp, he could have shot at the starting gig. At least for the first three weeks of the season.
I know this scenario seems far-fetched and well out of reach, but crazier things have happened in the NFL. Koetter loves competition even if it’s to push/challenge the current starter at said position. Griffin, I believe, will at the very least push Fitzpatrick as he did show promise before he was injured during the preseason opener last season. Who knows, you might just see Griffin trotting out there week 1 in New Orleans. Until then, let the off-season speculation continue.