As Pittsburgh Steelers fans watched as Big Ben left out of the stadium clutching his left knee, I am sure they felt as if the season’s hopes left with him, but i would not panic just yet. Steelers QB Ben Rothlisberger injured his knee late in the third quarter after a low hit by Rams’ safety Mark Barron. The hit did not appear intentional as Barron appeared to stumble and crawl to make the sack and whether you believe it was foul play or not the question still remains… what now?
The official statement from head coach Mike Tomlin is that Ben will “be out a for a number of weeks”, while many speculate somewhere around 4-6 weeks. It is said to be an MCL strain with no damage to the ACL. Steelers Nation must now turn to a former number 7 who at one time was arguably the most exciting athlete this league had ever seen.
Michael Vick will make his first start of the season Thursday against a struggling 0-3 Baltimore Ravens team. Vick who is now 35 years of age, was signed in late August and is still learning the the offense. He met with offensive coordinator Todd Haley for several hours Monday to discuss the game-plan and get more familiar with playbook. Everyone in the Steelers organization seems to be confident in the ability of Vick to hold the fort down.
“This is a great opportunity for me because I don’t know if I’m going to have this opportunity ever again” – Michael Vick
His last stop was with the New York Jets where he backed up Geno Smith. Vick was able to show flashes of his former self, but did have some horrific stat lines along the way. Things should be more consistent as he is surrounded by a talented and explosive group, led by wide-out Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. With Vick getting up there in age, this may very well be his last chance to lead a team, especially a team of this caliber. He is aware of this and seems to really be appreciative of his opportunity.
“He’s got a lot of experience.He’s got a good group around him here. Everybody’s got to do their job. We’ll be just fine.” – Ben Roethlisberger
Vick also reflected on the stressful summer saying “Just a month ago I wasn’t signed with a team. Now, I feel like I have a chance to go out and play freely and go out and enjoy the game, enjoy this moment, enjoy being out there with my teammates.”. Thursday will definitely have a great story-line and Michael Vick has been thrown in the fire against the rival Ravens.