Posted by Ryan Wilson
The owners and players haven't yet agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, but they have reached a consensus on this: the NFL Management Council has informed clubs that game-day rosters will increase from 45 to 46 players, and the emergency third quarterback designation no longer exists.
In practice, this means that teams will now dress their No. 3 quarterback as an active player or, take their chances with two QBs and use the roster spot for depth at another position. Which, save the rare occasion, isn't much of a rule change at all.
But as PFT's Michael David Smith points out, the emergency quarterback rule did come into play during last season's NFC Championship Game between Chicago and Green Bay. After Bears QB Jay Cutler left early in the third quarter with a knee injury, and with backup Todd Collins struggling, head coach Lovie Smith benched Collins for No. 3 QB Caleb Hanie.
At the time, the rules prohibited the Nos. 1 or 2 QBs from returning to the field since Hanie had played prior to the fourth quarter. To his credit, Hanie played well (and Cutler's knee injury was severe enough that he couldn't have played even if he wanted to), but the Bears still lost. Now with the new rule in place, the third quarterback can enter the game at any point without restriction.
In related roster news: according to a Thursday report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Bob McGinn, an NFC personnel executive said that his team has been told that training camp rosters will be expanded from 80 to 90 players.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.