When football season officially returns with the first of 65 unofficial games, a guy who may not have a job come September 10 will get plenty of work.
Via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers quarterback Landry Jones will start Sunday night’s game against the Vikings. He also will play “deep into the second half and possibly the entire game.”
With Ben Roethlisberger signed deep into the decade as the starter and backup Bruce Gradkowski entering the final year of his contract as the No. 2, it’s looking like up-or-out time for Jones, a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft.
“He has had his moments before, but none more definitive than this in this part of his career,” quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner said, via Kaboly. “He is getting a whole lot of work with [the first string], the [second string] and now is the time to let this all come together.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin put it more bluntly: He doesn’t care about practice; he wants to see Jones do it in games.
“His performance has been on a steady incline out there, but that is out there,” Tomlin said. “We prepare and play out there for what transpires in stadiums, and I am excited to watch him play.”
Jones has had no regular-season appearances in two years with the Steelers. He generated a passer rating of 65.0 in the 2014 preseason with 44 passes thrown and a rating of 53.1 in the 2013 preseason with 66 attempts.