The backup quarterback role is more important than it may appear on the surface, or on a depth chart for that matter. When it comes to players like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew, the quarterbacking challenge as a starter or backup is like comparing apples to apples and that's the best possible quality to have as a backup.
Now on his third team in his fifth NFL season, Gardner Minshew has proven himself to be a servicable NFL QB at the very least. The former Washington State product has logged a career TD-INT ratio of 45 touchdowns to 15 interceptions while throwing for nearly 7,000 yards.
ESPN's draft analyst, Jordan Reid, did a piece recently where he ranked NFL backup QBs. As expected, Minshew landed in the top 10— at sixth to be exact. But who was ranked ahead of him, you may ask. A handful of very viable candidates if we're being honest.
Gardner Minshew ranked sixth-best backup quarterback in NFL
Ahead of Minshew, in order from fifth to first, goes as follows: Jameis Winston, Sam Darnold, Taylor Heinicke, Jacoby Brissett, and Andy Dalton.
Reid rehashed Minshew's Colts debut this past weekend, mentioning how he managed the Texans with ease en route to the team's first victory of the season.
"Despite limited physical traits, we know Minshew can come in and manage an offense if the team's starter has to miss an extended period of time. And Indianapolis might need to rely on him [again] against the Ravens on Sunday if Richardson doesn't clear concussion protocol."- Jordan Reid, ESPN
Although he is certainly important when he's on the sidelines being that extended heartbeat for Anthony Richardson, Gardner Minshew may have to provide a spot start this Sunday as it's looking like he'll start in lieu of the injured rookie phenom for his first start since Week 17 of last season.
So long as Minshew remains the smart and decisive QB that he's become known to be, the Colts offense should be effective as they're looking to take on a Baltimore Ravens defense that could potentially be out multiple starters come Sunday.