Published: 11:00 pm, Fri. Oct. 23rd, 2015Updated: 11:45 pm
Landry Jones is having a hard time digesting it all. Jones spent two-plus seasons wearing sweatpants or holding a clipboard on game days as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-string quarterback. Now Jones will likely find himself as a starter for the first time in his three-year career Sunday at Kansas City after a stunning performance in relief of Michael Vick last week in a 25-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s been a wild ride since Sunday, that’s for sure,” Jones said Wednesday.
Jones made his NFL debut when he replaced Vick, who strained his right hamstring, in the third quarter with the Steelers trailing 10-6.
He rallied to them to victory by completing 8 of 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, both to Martavis Bryant.
“It’s just different, because you actually feel like you contributed something,” Jones said. “I’ve been here for three years now and haven’t gotten to play. I feel like I have contributed, but not in a way I felt like I could. It’s fun to know you actually had a part in the game.”
Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a limited participant in practice for the second Wednesday in a row. He sprained the medical collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 27 in a win over the Rams at St. Louis.
Vick started the three games that Roethlisberger has sat out but was forced out of last week’s game with a strained his left hamstring. He did not participate in practice Wednesday.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers are preparing this week with the idea that Jones will be the starter because he is the only healthy quarterback on the roster. However, a starter has not been officially chosen.
“You never what’s going to happen on Sunday. Ben and Mike are real competitive guys, so I’m sure they are going to do everything they can to get ready to play,” Jones said. “I’ll be excited whether I play or not, but it’d be awesome to get a whole week of practice in and go into the game really prepared.”
The Steelers want to make sure Roethlisberger’s knee is stable before he returns to game action. He also plans to wear a knee brace for the first time in his 12-year career when he returns.
“I think I can deal with pain,” Roethlisberger said. “Adrenaline helps with that a lot.”
Roethlisberger, like Jones, made his NFL debut in a relief role, in the second game of his rookie season in 2004. He replaced Tommy Maddox in a 30-13 loss to Ravens at Baltimore and completed 12 of 20 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
“I went into the Baltimore game and my head was spinning,” Roethlisberger said. “I know Landry’s a guy, above the shoulders especially, who is very talented. Very smart football player who knows his stuff.
“He’s a guy who even I would have confidence in, being in the league 12 years, going up to him and asking him ‘What did you see there?’ or ‘What did you think?’ That’s the confidence that I think he showed on the field Sunday. He knows what he’s doing.”