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Josh Johnson becomes 7th Lions backup QB to play this year

Are the Detroit Lions a quarterback producing machine?

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have been searching for a consistent backup quarterback for years now. They’ve gone through so many different players that several of them are spread throughout the NFL.

So many so that after Josh Johnson took over for Brock Purdy for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Conference championships, it brought the total number of former Lions backup quarterbacks that found the field during the 2022-23 season up to seven (!) players.

Let’s look at the list:

  • Nate Sudfeld, Lions — with Lions in 2022
  • Josh Dobbs, Titans — with the Lions in 2022
  • Tim Boyle, Bears — with the Lions in 2021 and 2022
  • David Blough, Cardinals — with the Lions from 2019 through 2022 training camp
  • Chase Daniel, Chargers — with Lions in 2020
  • Jeff Driskel, Texans — with Lions in 2019
  • Josh Johnson, 49ers — with the Lions in 2019

Not only did each of the seven find the field in 2023, but Boyle, Dobbs, and Driskel all started two games this season.

As the Lions head into the 2023 offseason, they will likely be on the lookout for another backup quarterback in the coming months. Starter Jared Goff remains under contract, but his backup, Sudfeld, is an unrestricted free agent. Even if Sudfeld re-signs, the Lions will surely be looking to add more talent at the position as they round out their roster.

On the plus side, you have to give credit to the Lions’ pro scouting department for being able to find NFL-level talent at the position. On the other hand, it’d be nice to see some stability there as well.