Do The Indianapolis Colts Have The Most Valuable Backup Quarterback?

Do The Indianapolis Colts Have The Most Valuable Backup Quarterback?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The Indianapolis Colts are looking to the future regarding their quarterback, but should something go awry this season, the team has a more-than-capable backup.

The Colts drafted Anthony Richardson with the fourth pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and the raw talent from Florida got the start in the team’s preseason debut Saturday against the Buffalo Bills. That’s a good indication he might be the starter come Week 1 when the Colts host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 10.

However, the Colts have also brought in veteran Gardner Minshew this season, which still can have a positive impact on the Colts playoff chances should they need to lean on Minshew. The former Jags and Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller is expected to get the nod should Richardson get hurt or if team officials feel their rookie may need some time to develop before being entrusted to run the offense.

But how does Minshew compare with other teams’ backup QBs?

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Ranking NFL’s Backup QBs

Your home for Kentucky sports betting, utilized data on all 32 backup QBs from on games started, QB rating, TD%, and INT% to compile an aggregate ranking of the most valuable backup QBs in the league.

TeamBackup QBAggregate RankGames StartedQB RatingTD %INT %
ColtsGardner MinshewT-1st15th2nd3rd2nd
EaglesMarcus MariotaT-1st3rd4th6thT-9th
PanthersAndy Dalton3rd1st7th5thT-11th
GiantsTyrod Taylor4th7th5thT-10th3rd
LionsTeddy Bridgewater5th4th3rd15thT-5th
SteelersMitch Trubisky6th2nd8th2nd22nd
SaintsJameis Winston7thT-5th9thT-10th8th
CommandersJacoby Brissett8thT-8th12th22nd1st
RaidersBrian Hoyer9th10th14thT-16thT-5th
FalconsTaylor Heinicke10th14th10thT-7thT-15th
BengalsTrevor SiemianT-11th12th16th9thT-11th
PatriotsBailey ZappeT-11thT-27th1st1stT-19th
CowboysCooper Rush13th24th11thT-12th4th
TexansDavis Mills14th13th13thT-12thT-15th
VikingsNick Mullens15th19th6thT-7thT-23rd
49ersSam Darnold16thT-5th20thT-16thT-19th
CardinalsColt McCoy17th11th18th23rdT-9th
JaguarsCJ Beathard18th20th17thT-16thT-11th
BillsKyle Allen19th18th15th14th18th
SeahawksDrew Lock20th17th19thT-16th14th
ChiefsBlaine Gabbert21stT-8th24th20thT-19th
RavensTyler Huntley22nd21st21st28thT-5th
JetsZach Wilson23rd16th25thT-25thT-15th
BroncosJarrett Stidham24thT-27th23rd4th28th
DolphinsMike White25thT-22nd22nd24th25th
BrownsJosh Dobbs26thT-27th26thT-25thT-23rd
BearsPJ Walker27thT-22nd27th27th26th
RamsBrett Rypien28thT-25th28th21st29th
TitansMalik Willis29thT-25th29thT-29th27th
BucsKyle Trask30thT-30th30thT-29thT-30th
PackersSean CliffordT-31stT-30thT-31stT-29thT-30th
ChargersEaston StickT-31stT-30thT-31stT-29thT-30th

Minshew is Quite Valuable

According to our research, Minshew is tied with Marcus Mariota, who takes over for Minshew as the Eagles' No. 2 this season, as the most valuable backup.

With just 24 career starts, the 27-year-old ranks among the middle of the pack as far as experience goes, but his 93.1 rating and 1.6% interception percentage both rank second among likely backups. Minshew’s 4.7% touchdown rate is third among the 32 second-stringers.

Most of Minshew’s starts came during his first two seasons in Jacksonville, but he did get two starts in each of the last two seasons. Last season, he got the call while Jalen Hurts was recovering from a sprain to his right throwing shoulder. The Eagles lost both, but he threw for 629 yards on 42-of-72 passing in his starts. Minshew threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, although he also tossed three interceptions.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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