Ben Johnson says he's comfortable with the Lions backup quarterback situation

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Despite concerns that would be very easy to have, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said he likes the team's backup quarterback situation.

At the outset of this offseason, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes said the No. 2 quarterback spot would be a priority.

A "strong contract offer" was reportedly made to Teddy Bridgewater at some point. But ultimately, Nate Sudfeld was re-signed and Hendon Hooker was drafted in the third round as he works his way back from a torn ACL in his final college season.

With Hooker headed for a "redshirt year", per head coach Dan Campbell, it's safe to say the Lions' hopes for the 2023 season would go up in proverbial flames if Jared Goff missed time. Sudfeld is barely roster-worthy, let alone capable of providing a respectable level of play if he had to start games. That sounded like something Holmes would not let be the case, but here we are.

Earlier this offseason, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson outlined what he saw as ideal traits in a backup quarterback. Frankly, Sudfeld's sample of work is not enough to know if he fits the bill, if he were pressed into duty.

Ben Johnson says he likes the Lions' backup quarterback situation

He clearly wouldn't say otherwise publicly. But after last Thursday's OTA practice, Johnson said he likes the Lions' backup quarterback situation. Undrafted rookie Adrian Martinez is also part of the current group.

Via Lions Wire:

"Yeah, no, I love the room right now,” Johnson said immediately. “There is a great camaraderie in there and I think that is really important when you need to find that backup quarterback position.”"

Johnson went on to add what he thinks is important in the No. 2 quarterback.

"It’s not only a guy that can go in there and win games, but for the majority of the season, if all things go right, he is there to support that starter,” Johnson said.

“And we have that right now, not only with Nate (Sudfeld) and Hendon (Hooker) and Adrian (Martinez), we have a good group. And they are learning, they are growing.”"

Any confidence that Sudfeld can "go in there and win games" sure is something, and it's a stretch. And it's a stretch Johnson seemed to eventually acknowledge in his comments last week.

"We are evaluating consistently we are putting pressure on them consistently to see what they can do out on the field in team settings. The truth really comes out, I believe, when you have the bullets flying for real, which we can’t have right now. So, the training camp will really tell us where we are at behind Jared, but so far, I feel really good about that room.”"

Ben Johnson

There are still some notable backup quarterback options available, like Bridgewater and Carson Wentz. Other team's roster cuts will also open up options. But ideally it wouldn't have come to this point, picking from what amounts to scraps for backup quarterback options in June. Holmes practically promised it wouldn't be the case, but Johnson has to deal with the lot he was cast and he can't be blamed for wanting to prop up his guys.

Next. 4 Detroit Lions who could be cut before playing a snap in 2023. 4 Detroit Lions players who could be cut before playing a snap for the team in 2023. dark