Leslie Frazier shook his head and managed a slight smile when the question was posed.

How hard, the Minnesota Vikings coach was asked, has this been to have to decide so many different weeks in a season about who the starter will be at the sport’s most important position?

"It’s not a lot of fun," Frazier said recently. "You’d like to say that this is your quarterback for 16 weeks, but we haven’t been in that situation."

This hardly brings solace for the head of a struggling team like Frazier, but the Vikings are far from the only bunch either sputtering along without a long-term solution or needing a stronger backup for a starter who’s hurt. Minnesota is one of five teams that, for a variety of reasons, have started three different quarterbacks this year. That includes Green Bay, which has started four. Four!

Whether due to failures to successfully draft and develop the next championship-capable franchise leader or procure and produce a reliable second-stringer, the league this year has seen a clear shortage of quality quarterbacks.

"The supply and demand’s kind of out of whack," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.

Injuries are, of course, a significant factor. The Packers have won a Super Bowl behind Aaron Rodgers, and they’ll be set at quarterback as long as he continues his career. But since he broke his collarbone last month, the Packers have lost four games and tied the other.

Though not in that top tier like Rodgers, then there are quarterbacks who’ve shown promise such as Jay Cutler, Jake Locker and Sam Bradford but have been hurt often, beyond just this season.

"How many times do you keep saying on Sept. 1, ‘OK, this is my guy,’ and then he gets hurt again? Regardless of talent, work ethic, toughness," Mayock said. "When do you say enough is enough?"

Cleveland has started 20 different quarterbacks since their expansion rebirth in 1999, the most in the league. From Brandon Weeden to Brian Hoyer to Jason Campbell, this season has brought more instability.

The Browns have tried every avenue to find one, too, but despite a stockpile of draft picks for a well-regarded crop of 2014 quarterback prospects there’s no guarantee the carousel will stop. Tim Couch, Brady Quinn and Weeden were all first-round picks who haven’t panned out.

Christian Ponder fits in that category, the No. 12 selection by the Vikings in 2011. He went two spots after Blaine Gabbert, who has been even worse for Jacksonville. Both the Vikings and Jaguars are bound to be searching far and wide again for quarterbacks when the draft takes place next May, along with at least another half-dozen teams.

That’s rare, though. In this increasingly pass-driven league, the position hasn’t been any easier to master for even the best of athletes with the strongest of arms. Even Super Bowl winners like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco have struggled this year, aberrations or not while injuries and instability swirl around them on offense.

So for the teams that don’t have a Hall of Fame-bound player like Peyton Manning or a steady young standout like Russell Wilson and haven’t succeeded in the modern-era draft at finding the next franchise quarterback, will they ever have a chance to win a championship?

Well, sure. They’ll just have to keep trying.

College and high school offenses have become more complex and powerful. Summer camps and seven-on-seven leagues around the country have helped teenagers develop their skills to much-greater degrees before they reach the highest levels of competition.

The nature of the NFL makes a scenario with 25 elite quarterbacks dominating the league improbable. But there’ll always be a new pool of candidates for the job.