List of NFL QBs to start games in 2023: Tyler Huntley, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold add to record-tying 66 in Week 18

The 2023 NFL season has become known as the year of the backup quarterback, as a seemingly unprecedented amount of injuries knocked out starting signal-callers across the league.

Because of these injuries, many teams across the league have had to scrap and scrounge to find quality fill-ins who could keep their teams alive in the race for the postseason. That has led to some breakout, high-water moments for the likes of Joshua Dobbs, Jake Browning, Drew Lock and even Joe Flacco.

That said, the 2023 NFL season has mostly been a desert of inconsistent quarterback play despite these oases. Former MVPs like Patrick Mahomes have struggled; interceptions have been up while scoring has been down; and because of the lack of consistency at quarterback the MVP leader seemed to flip-flop every week until Lamar Jackson took control of it in the final sixth of the season.

That lack of consistency has led to many quarterback changes. As a result, the NFL is on the verge of breaking the record for quarterbacks started in a non-strike season for the second consecutive year. It all depends on how many teams opt to sit their starters in Week 18 as several teams look to keep their top quarterbacks healthy for the postseason.

NFL WEEK 18 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread

Here’s what to know about the NFL’s record-tying quarterback usage as the league continues to shuffle through passers at a high rate.

How many different NFL quarterbacks have started in 2023?

There are set to be five new starting quarterbacks for the final week of the 2023 NFL season, which will bring the total number of starters for the 2023 campaign to 66. That ties the record for a non-strike year, set in the 2022 NFL season during which 66 players made starts at quarterback.

The new starters in Week 18 will be Tyler Huntley, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, Jeff Driskel and Blaine Gabbert. All are poised to draw into lineups to preserve the health of starters as their respective teams look to make postseason pushes.

Most NFL QBs to start a game in one season

The strike-impacted 1987 NFL season still reigns supreme as the season that saw the most different starting quarterbacks. Fittingly, 87 players started at quarterback during that season. That mark will be difficult for the NFL to top in a single campaign barring another work stoppage.

Only nine NFL teams are currently projected to start the same quarterback in every game during the season. Several others — like the Ravens, 49ers and Chiefs — could have were they not locked into their respective playoff spots, and that number could dwindle if more teams opt to rest starters.

Regardless of which starters rest, the Browns have had the most turbulent season at quarterback. Their decision to start Driskel in Week 18 gives them a whopping five different starters at the position for 2023. Despite this, they are going to make the playoffs as the top wild-card team in the AFC thanks to a resurgent stretch from Joe Flacco.

The Vikings and Jets both used four quarterbacks during the 2023 NFL season as well. Each lost their starter — Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers respectively — to a torn Achilles and shuffled through backups looking for a long-term solution. Neither quite found one and barring a miracle for the Vikings, each will miss the playoffs.

POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Browns, Steelers climb as Dolphins, Eagles, Seahawks drop for Week 18

NFL starting QBs 2023 season

Below is the full list of all 66 quarterbacks that have started — or are poised to start — at least one game during the 2023 NFL season. This list includes projected starters for Week 18.

Player Team Starts
Brock Purdy 49ers 16
Sam Darnold 49ers 1
Tyson Bagent Bears 4
Justin Fields Bears 13
Jake Browning Bengals 7
Joe Burrow Bengals 10
Josh Allen Bills 17
Jarrett Stidham Broncos 2
Russell Wilson Broncos 15
Joe Flacco Browns 5
Dorian Thompson-Robinson Browns 3
P.J. Walker Browns 2
Deshaun Watson Browns 6
Jeff Driskel Browns 1
Baker Mayfield Buccaneers 17
Kyler Murray Cardinals 8
Clayton Tune Cardinals 1
Joshua Dobbs Cardinals/Vikings 12
Justin Herbert Chargers 13
Easton Stick Chargers 4
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs 16
Blaine Gabbert Chiefs 1
Gardner Minshew II Colts 13
Anthony Richardson Colts 4
Sam Howell Commanders 17
Dak Prescott Cowboys 17
Tua Tagovailoa Dolphins 17
Jalen Hurts Eagles 17
Taylor Heinicke Falcons 5
Desmond Ridder Falcons 12
Tommy DeVito Giants 6
Daniel Jones Giants 6
Tyrod Taylor Giants 5
C.J. Beathard Jaguars 1
Trevor Lawrence Jaguars 16
Tim Boyle Jets 2
Aaron Rodgers Jets 1
Trevor Siemian Jets 3
Zach Wilson Jets 11
Jared Goff Lions 17
Jordan Love Packers 17
Andy Dalton Panthers 1
Bryce Young Panthers 16
Mac Jones Patriots 11
Bailey Zappe Patriots 6
Jimmy Garoppolo Raiders 6
Brian Hoyer Raiders 1
Aidan O’Connell Raiders 10
Brett Rypien Rams 1
Matthew Stafford Rams 15
Carson Wentz Rams 1
Lamar Jackson Ravens 16
Tyler Huntley Ravens 1
Derek Carr Saints 17
Drew Lock Seahawks 2
Geno Smith Seahawks 15
Kenny Pickett Steelers 12
Mason Rudolph Steelers 3
Mitchell Trubisky Steelers 2
Case Keenum Texans 2
C.J. Stroud Texans 15
Will Levis Titans 9
Ryan Tannehill Titans 8
Kirk Cousins Vikings 8
Jaren Hall Vikings 2
Nick Mullens Vikings 3

It should also be noted that Taysom Hill has technically been credited with six starts this season. While his official position on the Saints’ roster is quarterback, he hasn’t actually started at quarterback over Derek Carr at any point this season. As such, Hill is being omitted from this list.

It’s also noteworthy that the Commanders had planned to start Jacoby Brissett at quarterback in Week 17, but the veteran suffered a hamstring injury in the lead-up to the game that prevented him from playing. So, Washington could have easily become the 24th team to start at least two quarterbacks in 2023.

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