The Miami Dolphins have a veteran quarterback ready to return to his starting position in 2020 after playing well in 2019. They have the 2020 NFL Draft’s fifth-overall pick in position to - if healthy - challenge for the starting quarterback position. And, they have the 2018 NFL Draft’s tenth-overall pick floating in the background. Assuming veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tua Tagovailoa are one and two on the depth chart - in either order - what should the Dolphins do with Josh Rosen, for whom they traded last year?
The answer is a simple one. Quarantine him.
The Dolphins are going to want Tagovailoa taking as many practice snaps as they can provide him this year, whether he is the starter or as a developmental tool with him running the scout team and second-team offense. Fitzpatrick will either be taking the first-team practice reps or be working as the second-team quarterback and helping Tagovailoa.
The Miami Marlins are demonstrating how COVID-19 can quickly impact a team, with a third of their roster testing positive over the past couple of days, leading to a postponement of their scheduled Monday game. The Washington Nationals, on opening night, were forced to adjust their starting lineup when a COVID-19 test for Juan Soto came back positive. Imagine if the Dolphins were preparing for a game and Fitzpatrick and/or Tagovailoa were sidelined with a positive COVID test.
Break glass in case of emergency. Rosen can be behind that glass.
Two days ago, Pro Football Talk brought up the idea of a quarantine quarterback and how teams are strongly considering the idea. Mike Florio wrote:
Per a league source, the notion of peeling a quarterback away from the rest of the team and keeping him quarantined has begun to spread, as coaches begin to crystallize their plans for the coming season.
The question becomes whether the primary backup or the No. 3 man on the depth chart would be quarantined. The resolution of that question will depend on whether and to what extent the primary backup actively assists in the preparation of the starter, and whether the third-stringer could be trusted to step in and perform if the starter and the primary backup both test positive for COVID-19.
In a year of uncertainty, teams may have to make roster decisions not based on the normal depth-chart construction, but out of precautions should the coronavirus impact the team. One of those decisions might be making sure you have three available quarterbacks, even if your normal move is to only have two.
Rosen would be the perfect option for the “third-string” quarterback being the quarantine option. He has experience, he can step in and play if needed, and, while he does still need time to develop at the NFL level, he is not the primary focus for the Dolphins in development this year. Making Rosen the quarantine quarterback could be an ideal move for the Dolphins.