It has now been 1,000 days since Colin Kaepernick last played an NFL game and, in that time, 80 different quarterbacks have started in the regular season.
Former 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, still just 31, completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in a Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2016 season. Only four players that week had a better quarterback rating than Kaepernick’s 122.3.
However, Kaepernick – who had started to kneel during the national anthem earlier that year in protest over racial injustice – has not even had a sniff of an opportunity since, while countless teams have kicked the tires on numerous other quarterbacks.
Here is the list of every quarterback to have started a game since Kaepernick’s last appearance.
NFC North: Mitchell Trubisky, Mike Glennon, Chase Daniel (Bears); Matthew Stafford (Lions); Brett Hundley, Aaron Rodgers (Packers); Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins (Vikings).
NFC East: Dak Prescott (Cowboys); Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Daniel Jones (Giants); Carson Wentz, Nick Foles (Eagles); Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Josh Johnson, Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, Case Keenum (Redskins).
NFC South: Matt Ryan (Falcons); Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen (Panthers); Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater (Saints); Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buccaneers).
NFC West: Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, Josh Rosen, Sam Bradford, Kyler Murray (Cardinals); Jared Goff, Sean Mannion (Rams); Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard, Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens (49ers); Russell Wilson (Seahawks).
AFC North: Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson (Ravens); Andy Dalton, Jeff Driskel (Bengals); DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan, Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield (Browns); Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph (Steelers).
AFC East: Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, Josh Allen, Derek Anderson, Matt Barkley (Bills); Jay Cutler, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen (Dolphins); Tom Brady (Patriots); Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Luke Falk (Jets).
AFC South: Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson, T.J. Yates (Houston Texans); Jacoby Brissett, Scott Tolzien, Andrew Luck (Colts); Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler, Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew (Jaguars); Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel, Blaine Gabbert (Titans).
AFC West: Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco (Broncos); Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs); Philip Rivers (Chargers); Derek Carr, EJ Manuel (Raiders).
Some observations from the extensive list:
- Only six franchises (Lions, Falcons, Cowboys, Seahawks, Patriots and Chargers) have had one starter for all 35 games since Kaepernick’s last appearance.
- Three teams – Cardinals, Dolphins and Redskins – have started six quarterbacks since the beginning of the 2017 season. The Bills, Jets and Broncos have had five, and Washington could add another to its lengthy list should it turn to rookie Dwayne Haskins in the coming weeks.
- Of the 80 quarterbacks, 16 are out of the league – either unsigned or retired. Former Steelers QB Landry Jones recently became the first player to sign with the upcoming XFL.
- Keenum, currently keeping Haskins on the sideline in Washington, is the only player on this list to have started for three teams (Vikings, Broncos and Redskins) since 2017. A further 11 have started for two teams.