The Lions are one of the few NFL teams that hasn't made a quarterback change at any point during the 2023 NFL season.
Starter Jared Goff stayed healthy for all 17 of the Lions' regular-season games and managed to lead them to a 24-23 win over the Rams in the wild-card round of the playoffs. The 29-year-old fared well in that role, completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,575 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while posting a 97.9 passer rating.
Indeed, Goff has been an above-average starter and may be poised to lead Detroit to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. At the very least, an NFC championship game appearance is well within reach.
That said, Lions fans may fear what might happen to the team if Goff picked up an injury during the postseason run. After all, a record-tying 66 different quarterbacks started games during the NFL regular season. A bit of bad luck for Detroit could cause it to turn to its backup quarterback.
The good news is that the Lions have a veteran behind Goff, one with plenty of starting experience and someone who could be trusted to at least keep the team competitive if their top signal-caller has to miss time.
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Here's what to know about the Lions' quarterback depth chart as they look to make a playoff run.
Who is the Lions' backup quarterback?
Teddy Bridgewater is the Lions' backup behind Jared Goff.
Bridgewater, 31, is in his 10th NFL season since being a first-round pick by the Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Louisville product quickly emerged as a starter for Minnesota and made a Pro Bowl in his second season, going 11-5 and completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Unfortunately, disaster struck ahead of Bridgewater's third season. He suffered a significant knee injury in practice, tearing his ACL and dislocating his knee joint as part of a non-contact injury. He missed the entire 2016 season due to the injury, and many wondered whether the issue would be career-ending.
Bridgewater battled back and played in mop-up duty in 2017. He then began a career odyssey, playing for the Jets, Saints, Panthers, Broncos and Dolphins before finally landing with the Lions ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
Bridgewater appeared in just one game for the Lions to date and didn't record a passing attempt. For his career, he has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 15,120 yards, 75 touchdowns and 47 interceptions.
Bridgewater sports a 33-32 record as a starter. That may not impress many, but it's worth noting that he went 5-0 with the Saints in 2019 as a fill-in for Drew Brees. He also was 7-7 with the Broncos in 2021, so he has shown the ability to lead good teams — like the 2019 Saints — to success while keeping solid teams — like the 2021 Broncos — afloat.
While the Lions certainly would rather Goff stay healthy, Bridgewater is a more-than-serviceable option behind him. That's why Detroit signed the veteran signal caller Aug. 10, a month ahead of the season.
Lions QB depth chart
The Lions are three deep at the quarterback position. They have rookie Hendon Hooker on the 53-man roster behind Goff and Bridgewater.
Hooker was a third-round pick by the Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Tennessee product missed most of the season while recovering from a torn ACL but was activated from the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list Dec. 19. He has served as the team's third-string option ever since.
Hooker threw for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions during his final collegiate season at Tennessee. He also added 430 yards and five scores on the ground. The 26-year-old will likely emerge as Detroit's long-term backup behind Goff and could perhaps eventually emerge as a starter thanks to his accuracy and ability to avoid turnovers.
That said, he won't be a part of Detroit's plans for the 2024 postseason unless disaster strikes.