Chase Daniel will get his chance.
As the Carousel of Depression™ circled during Week 15, it was clear that several teams are going to clean house at the quarterback position. You'll see old faces in new places. You'll see injured contestants hoping to rebound. You'll see several teams draft quarterback hopefuls next May, only to pair them with the same old cringeworthy veterans that muck up this time of year for losing teams. When you see this sort of desperation on display at the depth chart, it becomes clear Chase Daniel will get his chance.
Brandon Weeden will likely start for the Houston Texans on Sunday, the team's fourth starter this year and, let's be honest, none of them should be starting for anyone. Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum, Matt Schaub and Tom Savage have all started for the Texans in the last three seasons. So has Ryan Fitzpatrick, but at least he's resuscitated his image with the defensive juggernauts known as the New York Jets. For a franchise that started with David Carr, they're still looking for their first real star QB in franchise history.
The Texans are just a starting point for the Carousel of Depression™, with many other horses spinning around. The St. Louis Rams are forced to select either Nick Foles or Case Keenum, and this is just one season after Austin Davis and Shaun Hill were the options each Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys are going with Kellen Moore over Matt Cassel. Blaine Gabbert and Jimmy Clausen are throwing Passes That Count (an official stat for quarterbacks who should never be allowed to achieve official stats).
Even teams that should be in decent shape aren't. The Dolphins are likely rethinking Ryan Tannehill's extension as they sit in last place in the AFC East. The AFC West-leading Denver Broncos have to decide between an unimpressive Brock Osweiler or a fragile Peyton Manning down the stretch in what could be a frustrating one-and-done playoff run, likely Manning's last. The Indianapolis Colts are watching the ship sink with Captain Charlie Whitehurst at the helm. You get the picture.
That means Chase Daniel will get his chance. At 29-years-old, Daniel is the same age as Alex Smith was when the Chiefs traded two second round picks to the San Francisco 49ers for him. (Speaking of the Niners, it'd be interesting to see whether they'd redo that deal now.) Daniel has spent three seasons behind Drew Brees in Sean Payton's offense and another three seasons behind Alex Smith learning Andy Reid's offense. That's six years of development on teams where he was lucky (or unlucky enough) to never find a real chance to play. Now he's going to earn that spot.
Daniel only has two starts to his name, both with the Chiefs, for a career record of 1-1. For his career, he's completed 50 of 77 passes (65%) for 464 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His college numbers at Missouri are more exciting, with 101 career touchdowns, but Daniel also went undrafted after starting three years in the Big 12.
At 6'0, 218 pounds, Daniel is not as big as some teams might like, but that's not the role Daniel would play for any franchise at this point. He wouldn't be looked to as the potential savior coming in. He would be likely paired as a veteran with starting potential along with a rookie with starting potential and, hopefully, one ends up working out.
Therein lies the key: at least Daniel will have the chance to start from Week 1. He's done the job he was hired to do in Kansas City, which is to sit at the ready, waiting for his number to be called in case of emergency. Fortunately for the Chiefs, Alex Smith has remained healthy for his first three seasons with the team. It's kept Daniel from getting to showcase his skills, but in today's NFL, even the potential will be enough to entice some teams to check him out. And after watching him sit dutifully behind Smith, it will be interesting to see how he handles his chance.