When rookie second-round pick DeShone Kizer starts at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, it’ll mark the 10th consecutive season in which at least one rookie signal-caller has started Week 1.
Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan did it in 2008, Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford followed that in 2009, Sam Bradford extended the streak in 2010, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton were Week 1 starters in 2011.
Five rookie quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson) started the first week of the 2012 season, EJ Manuel and Geno Smith received Week 1 starting nods in 2013, followed by Derek Carr in 2014, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston in 2015 and Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott last season.
In fact, dating back to Week 11 in 2007, at least one rookie has started in each of the last 160 weeks of NFL regular-season football.
But that run could be in peril. If Kizer loses his starting job or suffers an injury, the streak will end unless another rookie quarterback is promoted before then. And even if Kizer doesn’t get demoted, somebody else will have to receive a promotion before the Browns hit their bye in Week 9.
The pressure is on Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes II, Nathan Peterson, Josh Dobbs, Cooper Rush, Davis Webb, Brad Kaaya, Taysom Hill and C.J. Beathard. Those are the 10 other rookie quarterbacks currently on active NFL rosters.
If eventually we go a week without a rookie quarterback in a starting role, this rookie quarterback group will unfortunately have something in common with the class of 2007. That gang included JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck and Trent Edwards.