- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Like many coaches, Rex Ryan doesn't play his starters and important reserves in the final preseason game. Michael Vick isn't the New York Jets' No. 1 quarterback, as Geno Smith was officially named the starter Friday night, so Vick will start Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, Ryan announced Sunday.
Makes sense, right? Not exactly.
There is nothing to be gained by playing Vick, a 34-year-old veteran with a history of injuries. Even though Ryan indicated, "Don't expect him to play long," it still doesn't add up from a risk-reward standpoint. He will be behind the second-team offensive line, and we all know what can happen in that situation. Ask current Eagles backup Mark Sanchez who, by the way, won't play against his old team.
Vick played only two series (13 plays) against the New York Giants, so he could probably use the work. But will one series against the Eagles' backups really make that much of a difference? He's a cagey veteran; he doesn't need a meaningless, JV game to get ready for the regular season. It will be a nostalgic night for Vick, who played with the Eagles from 2009 to 2013, but nostalgia isn't a good enough reason to put him in the game.
When announcing Smith as his starter Friday night, Ryan explained that he feels "blessed" to have two quarterbacks that can win for him. If he feels that strongly about Vick, he should keep him out of harm's way. Heck, even Tim Tebow was afforded that status for the Jets-Eagles game two summers ago.