Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may end up playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, but that remains to be seen. Sure, that’s huge and could be big for the team if he ends up playing over Landry Jones, but there is an even bigger story at hand and it’s one that could signal the end of a career. Michael Vick may never play in the NFL again.
After last season, Vick was not re-signed by the New York Jets after playing sparingly and passing for just 604 yards, his second lowest total since returning in 2009 from his suspension to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vick signed a one-year contract with the Steelers and won the back-up job behind Ben Roethlisberger. At the end of September, Roethlisberger injured his knee and landed out of commission for four to six weeks which meant Michael Vick was now the starter.
In his first start, the Steelers were led by Michael Vick against the Baltimore Ravens and lost in overtime. He then orchestrated a victory over the San Diego Chargers before suffering an injury last week against the Arizona Cardinals. It ended up being a tiny hamstring tear and in stepped Landry Jones
Talked to Mike Vick. Showed me pic of tiny tear/strain in hamstring. Said he’ll test in two days but would guess he’s at least a week away
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 19, 2015
Jones came in and completed 8-of-14 passing for 168 yards and two touchdowns. One of those scoring passes was an 88-yard touchdown. These weren’t just the first regular season stats of the season but for his career.
Michael Vick could be out for a week or two due to injury, but he could technically be out a lot longer due to Jones. Last week, Landry Jones played well enough to start this week and technically moved up into the back-up quarterback position.
Penn Live even says that Jones is not only younger, but he also knows the Steelers’ system better than Mike Vick does. Practice has been better than when Vick was in there because he’s still technically new to the offense and isn’t used to it all as of yet.
When Roesthlisberger returns from injury, it is really looking as if Landry Jones will jump up as the number two quarterback and move Vick down to third string. That actually could happen a lot sooner than expected too.
ESPN is reporting that Roesthlisberger is pushing to return this week and his four-to-six week return time from his knee injury is looking more like three-and-a-half.
On Wednesday, Roethlisberger was out at practice and looking great for a guy who just suffered a pretty bad knee injury less than a month before. Even though he may look and feel ready, the Steelers aren’t going to push him to play if he’s not ready, and center Cody Wallace agrees.
“They are going to be smart with him, and they should. They’ll do what’s best for him as far as his long-term health. We need him for that long stretch at the end of the season.”
Landry Jones proved himself to be more than capable to handle the Steelers’ offense and there’s no need to jeopardize Roethlisberger’s health or career.
Michael Vick’s career? That’s a different story.
The good play of Landry Jones along with his knowledge and understanding of the offense has him essentially locking up the back-up quarterback spot. Michael Vick will probably stay on the roster through the season, but don’t expect the Steelers to re-sign him when it’s all over.
There’s a good chance that no one will sign him either. Sure, anything is possible but if not for the Pittsburgh Steelers getting desperate in late August, they wouldn’t have signed him either. Michael Vick’s 12-year career looks as if it may be coming to a close thanks to Landry Jones.
[Images via Getty Images – Jared Wickerham]