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Lions propose return to third quarterback rule

Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed react in real-time to reports of Javon Hargrave agreeing to sign with the 49ers and Mike McGlinchey planning to sign with the Broncos.

After the 49ers lost both of their quarterbacks to injuries during the NFC Championship Game, there was discussion of bringing back the league’s former rule allowing for an emergency quarterback to be available on gamedays.

The NFL announced on Monday that the Lions have formally proposed a rule that would allow for that third quarterback to be available.

Under the proposal, teams could designate one player on their inactive list or practice squad to be eligible to play in the event that their first two quarterbacks are ruled out due to injuries. If a practice squad player is used in that role, it would not count as one of the three elevations practice squad players can make before being subject to release or waivers.

All teams are free to carry three (or more) quarterbacks on their gameday rosters now, but few do so because they feel they get more out of keeping other players active. The Lions proposal would keep that choice from coming back to hurt them if they wind up in the same dire straits as the 49ers.