As the NFL season quickly approaches coaches are busy whittling down their rosters to the mandated 53 players. The deadline to finalize rosters is August 31st at 6:00pm. After this deadline coaches are able to allocate players to reserve lists as they see fit. This is a busy time of year as players are evaluated and new needs for the team arise.
John Beck, the former BYU quarterback and 2nd round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins, is being looked at by a few teams as a potential back-up QB. The Bills and Jets both want to see what the 7th year veteran can bring to their respective teams. Realistically, Beck would be used as a short-term option to get through the rest of the preseason, but a solid showing might give Beck a longer run into the regular season.
The Bills are in a bind due to rookie E.J. Manuel being held out for the rest of the preseason with a knee injury. Kevin Kolb, who has been fighting Manuel for the starting QB spot, did not finish last Saturday’s game against the Redskins because of concussion symptoms. That leaves Jeff Tuel as the last man standing at quarterback for the next few weeks. The Bills host the Patriots in week 1 of the NFL season on September 8th and Tuel will likely be the starter under center.
Even if Beck can come in and impress the Bills’ coaches, it’s probable he would not last long on the roster. Injuries to Manuel and Kolb are not likely to sideline them for a long period of time. However; if Manuel and Kolb are not able to return to full activity quickly, the Bills can choose to place them as injured players on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, which allows a three week window to activate the player back to the 53 man roster. This would leave a spot for Beck as a backup for at least a few weeks. It may not be ideal, as Beck certainly wants to play, but a few weeks work for more money than most people make in a year isn’t too bad of a consolation prize.
The quarterback situation is also dire for the Jets. Mark Sanchez (of passing right to Ziggy Ansah fame) injured his throwing shoulder this past week and Geno Smith threw three interceptions against the Giants. The Jets could really use a quarterback with experience. The situation at the Jets might be a little better for Beck because of the desperation rising from the Jets camp for a legitimate quarterback.
Beck has hung around for over six years as an NFL journeyman, but it seems the window of opportunity is closing. The 32-year old only played for about a month last year on the Houston Texans before being released last October.
Hopefully John makes the most of his tryouts and is able to impress the coaches enough to get one of those 53 coveted sports on either the Jets or Bills.