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Career Backup QB From Verizon Commercial Actually Will Play This Weekend

The ad begins: "A better network as explained by backup quarterback Luke McCown."

Old spaghetti Western-type music fills the background as backup New Orleans Saints quarterback Luke McCown, dressed in full uniform, stands next to train tracks in a field, the sun setting behind him.

"Verizon has backup generators for most of their towers, so they're ready if the power ever goes down," he says.

McCown then looks up at a cell tower and salutes it with his helmet.

"I wonder why they save those backups, and not just put them in the regular rotation?" he wonders.

The camera cuts to a tight shot of McCown's face as he looks into the distance and says, "I bet if they just had the chance, some of those backups would really shine."

No word on whether Verizon's backup generators will be put to use, but this weekend, McCown has his chance.

With the Saints' starting quarterback, Drew Brees, suffering from a bruised rotator cuff, he's been ruled out for Sunday's game against the division rival Carolina Panthers. So McCown, the34-year-old, 12-season NFL veteran with only nine previous NFL starts, will be under center. It will be his first time starting in an NFL regular season game since 2011.

Social media immediately took notice:

If McCown lights up the field, Verizon's commercial will become instant legend. But what could happen if their spokesman for backup reliability isn't, well, reliable? Messages left with corporate headquarters went unreturned Friday evening.

The game between the 0-2 Saints and the 2-0 Panthers is Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. Tune in to see how McCown fares — even if he flops, you might get to see the Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, do something like this:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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