Landry Jones is preparing for his first NFL start this Sunday in Kansas City.
Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley is preparing as if Landry Jones will be his starting quarterback this Sunday in Kansas City.
Ben Roethlisberger practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day as he recovers from a knee injury suffered last month, but Jones got the bulk of the first-team reps.
“We’re preparing Landry, getting him a lot of reps," Haley said via Steelers.com. "It’s a great opportunity for him from a practice standpoint. Obviously, you saw Ben getting some reps and he’s continuing to progress. We’re full-speed ahead with Landry until told otherwise.”
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Jones came off the bench in relief of Michael Vick last week to wake up the Steelers offense with two touchdown passes to Martavis Bryant on the way to a 25-13 win over Arizona. The hamstring injury Vick suffered is likely to keep him out this Sunday, paving the way for Jones to make his first NFL start one week after his first career appearance.
As for Roethlisberger, he said his knee hasn’t swelled up and he felt "normal" coming out of Thursday’s practice session, but knows head coach Mike Tomlin will ultimately make the decision.
“It’s not even my call so I don’t know what to feel," Roethlisberger said. "I guess Mike is going to look at the film and see what he thinks and go from there. Tomorrow he’ll ask me, ‘How’d your knee do over night? Are you sore?’ And I’ll tell him how I feel and he’ll probably look at the film and determine off the film what he’s going to do.”
The fact that unseasoned left tackle Alejandro Villanueva will be protecting the quarterbacks’ blind side in place of the injured Kelvin Beachum may play a role in Tomlin’s thinking. He certainly wouldn’t want to risk Roethlisberger’s health if his mobility is limited against Kansas City’s fierce pass-rushing duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.