NFL stars in danger of losing their starting spots

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

September 21st, 2019

It certainly felt like Eli Manning’s benching was due to occur at some point in the 2019 season, but I doubt many fans expected it to come as early as Week 2. With Daniel Jones’ emergence in the preseason and practices plus the obvious commitment to him that the franchise made in selecting him with the sixth overall pick, Manning has been relegated to a backup role for just the second time in his illustrious career. While his previous benching felt like a bad public relations move, this one has the feeling of a more permanent outcome. Considering Manning’s benching, let’s look at other NFL starters who may face the same fate.

Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston has always been a divisive player dating back to his days at Florida State. While tremendously talented, he is also known to make bad decisions that negatively impact his team. In 2018 Winston had an abysmal 3.7% interception rate. In the NFL where protecting the football is paramount to success, avoiding turnovers will be key to Winston keeping his starting job.
Backup Blaine Gabbert has never really proven himself to be a star but he does have experience and Winston will not be given a long rope.

Case Keenum - Washington Redskins

Keenum has performed well through two games for the Redskins, but they have still resulted in losses. As Washington embarks on what is bound to be an unsuccessful season it is inevitable to wonder when the franchise will turn the page and give rookie first-rounder Dwayne Haskins an opportunity. No team drafts a quarterback that early without intending to give him some run.

Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans

Mariota has looked mediocre so far this year even though he admittedly isn’t getting much help from his offensive line and play-calling. The former Heisman trophy winner has battled injuries in his career, and without the dynamic running ability he had in college many are questioning if he is skilled enough as a passer to succeed in the NFL.

Backup Ryan Tannehill has lots of starting experience and may be called on before the season is done.

Joe Flacco - Denver Broncos

Flacco, now 34, has already been benched and replaced by a younger quarterback once. With rookie second-round pick Drew Lock lighting things up in practice and being a known gunslinger from his days in college, a poor start to the season may have Denver fans clamoring for a look at the future.

If Flacco is indeed in the twilight of his career, look for Lock to be given an opportunity once the Chargers and Chiefs begin to pull away from the Broncos within the division.

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