Steelers Could Be In Trouble If Landry Jones’ Injury Lingers

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t thinking much of it until recently while reading the article topic from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that I covered yesterday, in which one of the paper’s reporters on the Pittsburgh Steelers beat made the case that it would be in the team’s best interests to sign veteran quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

A key part of Paul Zeisse’s premise was that the abdominal injury suffered by backup quarterback Landry Jones could linger. To be perfectly honest, this is a topic best covered by our resident doctor, Melanie Friedlander. Perhaps she might ultimately put together a piece on the topic.

But I now find myself wondering if Jones’ injury will actually become a concern. Admittedly, I must plead ignorance about the nature and recovery time of abdominal injuries, but some basic research suggests that it can get tricky, and could linger.

So the basic question here is a simple one: should there be legitimate concern over the status of Landry Jones heading into the regular season, and if so, what, if anything, should be done to address said concern?

I don’t know the answer. Obviously. None of us know the answer. The only thing we can go by is simply following practice reports and what coaches and players might say about his status when asked. As Alex Kozora noted last week, he has returned to practice, but done very little.

According to his reports, Jones was essentially participating in a glorified rehab process, joining select team drills in which he merely handed the ball off to running backs. According to pre-game reports on Sunday, I believe it was said that he was throwing passes during warmups, but it is unclear how much of an indication that is of his actual progress.

It remains to be seen whether or not Jones is going to play at any point this preseason, but it would certainly be in the Steelers’ best interests that he does. While he may have four years of experience in the league and knows the offense well, he is certainly not so polished that he does not need the reps.

Should that pose a problem, then perhaps another arrangement, even temporary, may have to be sought. I have a hard time envisioning the Steelers wanting to enter the regular season opener with Joshua Dobbs being one snap away from going into the game.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Axe Skot

    I heard someone claim that Kaepernick won’t sign as a backup. If that’s the case, so be it. Otherwise, this organization would be foolish not to sign him.

  • Zarbor

    Telling you all. We need to make a trade for Blake Bortles. He’s falling out of grace with the Jags and I think we can work with him…He will be an upgrade over every backup we currently got.

  • PghDSF

    Bring back Mettenburger?

  • Steelers12

    Colin Kaepernick, call him before someone else snags him

  • Ace

    Not sure what the worry is here. 2 weeks before the season starts. Ben’s the starter of course. It’s not like Landry has had surgery and they have established a time table on his return of 8 weeks or anything crazy. I can’t see them making a move unless someone they highly covet gets shown the door at cut time. Even then, kinda far fetched.

  • RickM

    Abdominal strains usually take time to heal. The fact that Landry re-joined practices last week, if only for handoffs, was a good sign. And as you say, he graduated to making some throws before the Atlanta game. My guess is that everything will be fine long-term. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get a quarter of work in against Indy.

    What would happen if the injury was re-aggravated or he suffered a different one. We would go QB shopping immediately and I imagine there wouldn’t be much out there. Could Kaepernick ever be a Steeler? I think the odds are against it, but only Art Rooney knows the answer to that one.

  • hdogg48

    I like the chances of Josh Dobbs settling down and
    settling in to be a reliable backup.

    Unlike Jones he at least has the playmaking ability to
    beat an elite team and even orchestrate a comeback.

    Maybe I am giving him too much credit and the benefit
    of the doubt, but I see his accuracy problems as
    being solvable if given the reps to work on timing.

    He has the arm, the patience and the smarts…he just
    needs time to develop the rhythm necessary to
    be successful improving his timing which IMHO
    is affecting his accuracy.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Blake Bortles looks like Big Ben’s evil twin brother. It’s scary.

  • VinHuddle

    Ha!

  • hdogg48

    His mechanics are very flawed and his
    accuracy is horrendous.

    He reminds me of Charlie Sheen’s character
    in “Major League” BEFORE he got those
    coke bottle glasses.

    To quote the great Bob Uker….”just a bit outside.”

  • VinHuddle

    They would be in trouble if something happens to Big Ben because Dobbs looks just like he did at Tennessee…terrible

  • Thomas

    lets be that team, get the Kapper! lol

  • melblount

    “Unlike Jones (Dobbs) at least has the playmaking ability to
    beat an elite team and even orchestrate a comeback.”

    Please, pass me whatever it is you’re smoking.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    If Jones can’t play in the final game, I think we may need to go out and sign a vet. I don’t know who that would be, but we may need someone.

  • VinHuddle

    Or Manziel lol

  • hdogg48

    Did Jones ever beat an elite team?

    Did he ever orchestrate a comeback?

    Check the tape on those late comeback drives
    where he led Tennessee to those victories
    over Georgia and Florida…I have been sober for
    over 30 years, but I would have to be BLIND
    not to recognize that leadership potential.

  • Harley Crockett

    That’d be a much better option than signing Kaepernick — there’s a reason he’s not employed and his nothing to do with his ‘views’. Please, someone else sign this bum so the option is gone!

  • Darth Blount 47

    Bortles is somewhat strange in that he didn’t have a good rookie season. Then had a pretty good Sophomore campaign. Then regressed again last year. But his completion percentages have been incredibly consistent. Consistently bad. 58.9 / 58.6 / 58.9. As have his Int. rates. 17 / 18 / 16.

    That 2015 year though, he did have 4,426 yards and 35 TD’s and 18 Int’s.

  • Cwallace

    We’re in trouble if Landry is 100%. He sucks! He looks like a timid little boy every time he takes the field. Absolutely no upside. Zilch! So i don’t see why even carei if he can play at all this year. Dobbs might be raw and inaccurate on some throws and I wouldn’t wanna see him either. ..yet.., however, I’d rather watch any quarterback with athleticism, heart, guts , grit…..than that choir boy we got now. I remember watching kordell stewart cry on the sidelines after being yanked. I never wanted to see him in a game again and he was a stud…till then. Landry is soft ad hell and he aint no stud athlete and can only win one way…luck. Steelers nation ..let’s admit it, every game Landry Jones has started we felt we were going to lose regardless if it was Cleveland or NE or an area hs team.. He doesn’t exude winning and that to me is opposite of what this franchise stands for. As much as Ben gets hurt, he should’ve been upgraded 3yrs ago.

  • Limousine Liberal

    Moot. If Ben goes down there’s no one on the roster who can beat a decent team. Is Jones a better option than Dobbs? Academically, yes. But an L is an L and trust me, there will be lots of Ls if Ben doesn’t play.

    Dobbs was a gamble on a developmental pick and, truthfully, I think they should have selected another defender.

  • danrunner

    Comrade Colin is a distraction that would turn into a locker room cancer. He’s not Steeler material, he’s the southern end of a northern-bound mule.

  • Limousine Liberal

    A team chasing a trophy doesn’t need the distraction. He would be a liability. He’s also a bad qb and a bad fit to the system. Mike Vick 2.0

  • danrunner

    If anything happens to Ben, long term (season-wise ) we’d be screwed anyway, no matter who the backup is.

  • Lil Smitty

    I don’t see where there would be much difference between Dobbs and Kaepernick. Dobbs has been inaccurate in the Preseason. Kaepernick has been inaccurate for the past several years. Kaepernick is probably the better runner, but Dobbs can run too. If Dobbs would start running when the protection breaks down for even five or six yards at a time. It would cause the Defense to change up and possibly open up some passing lanes later.
    Many people have been making big deal out of Kaepernick not being signed, but every time I have seen him since that Super Bowl loss, he has been unimpressive.

  • treeher

    The worry is that the Steelers are a one-man-band at quarterback. Neither Jones nor Dobbs can win for us. Here’s a top 10 ranking of backup QBs. We’re not competitive here: 1. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots
    2. Matt Moore, Dolphins
    3. Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch, Broncos
    4. Colt McCoy, Redskins
    5. Deshaun Watson, Texans
    6. AJ McCarron, Bengals
    7. T.J. Yates/Cardale Jones/Nathan Peterman, Bills
    8. Mitchell Trubisky/Mike Glennon, Bears
    9. Chad Henne, Jaguars
    10. Geno Smith, Giants

  • Dorian James

    I also think it would be a mistake to sign Kaepernick, mainly because of the media circus, and partly because of the ignorance of a very small amount of the fanbase. If I remember correctly when Vick was signed there were people who didn’t want to be Steelers fans anymore

  • mem359

    LJones: The Arizona game in 2015.
    Steelers were down a TD, and the offense with Jones put up 22 points in less than a half. QBR 149.2

    That was an outlier, and he may never come close to that kind of performance again. But you were asking if he ever beat an elite team or orchestrated a comeback (yes & yes).

  • Zarbor

    Well, Ben considered Blake a young version of himself. The two have a connection and think about what he can learn from Ben. We know he can play as you’ve stated but I believe he needs to be coached up to deal with his inconsistency. Plus given a chance to get out of Jacksonville, biggest no-brainer for him. He’ll have tons of weapons and I’m sure he’ll be extremely motivated.

    Speaking of inconsistency, nothing more scary than having Landry and Dobbs as your backup QBs.

  • Matt Manzo

    I was thinking the same thing! I’d take him over LJ any day!

  • Matt Manzo

    That was my first thought!

  • Ace

    Most teams are one man bands at QB. There aren’t more than 12 GREAT qb’s in the league right now. Half the starters are either too young to call great or suck. When you say Landry can’t win for us do you mean win something besides football games? He was 1-1 last year throwing for 550 yards and 4 tds and did a pretty darn good job of keeping that NE game close and also throwing the winning td in OT against the browns. And before you say, yeah it was the browns; he was just playing the hand he was given. They were missing other starters from that game after all. Year before he beat a very good Cardinals team with a 149 rating and lost to a very good 11-5 playoff bound Chiefs team on the road by 10 points. When given the opportunity to start he has played halfway decent, literally, 2-2. If this injury ends up being much ado about nothing, I am fine with him making a spot start here and there. Additionally, any team that loses their starting QB for a significant stretch would be in trouble. Jimmy G looks to be good. I mean, he’s 2-0 in his career, so not much to go off of there. MM is pretty good. And you should hang your head in shame for putting Colt McCoy at #4 on that list. He is 7-18 in his career and has won exactly ONE game since 2011. I see a bunch of pretty crappy qb’s. Let’s face it, the Qb’s in this league are starting to look a little rough, Just wait for 3 years from now when Ben, Tom, Eli, Rivers, Brees, Palmer hang them up. Pretty weak on the up and comers.

  • Thomas

    no not him, never him lol

  • Biggie

    Maybe watch the waiver wire at end of preseason to see who is available. I honestly was surprised they didn’t keep Mettenberger around for TC though maybe they saw all they needed to see. Plain and simple I want L. Jones replaced as backup as I think he has reached his ceiling and it appears to be quite low. Maybe Dobbs can become the backup over time but as much as he can likely pass up Jones in short order he still has a good way to go. We really needed to add at solid vet backup this year before camp. Hopefully we can position ourselves in next years draft to get Ben’s eventual replacement in a very heavy QB draft since it is obvious that his replacement is not currently on the roster.

  • Ravens Team Gynecologist

    Not saying he is the answer, but Dobbs might do a little better actually playing with the first string.

  • PaeperCup

    I was thinknig this exact thing just the other day. Bortles isn’t great in Jax, but what if the change of scenery did him good. I think he would make a great Ben replacement as he is essentially a Ben clone. Worst case scenario, he fills the void
    (when Ben leaves) until we draft a franchise QB.

  • pittfan

    Does anyone know how much CK wants to be paid?

  • PaeperCup

    Steelers are in trouble if Ben goes down period.

  • PaeperCup

    Rumors say he’s asking around $10mil. Now there are some that deny this, but he’s also looking to be a starter so a $10mil price range isn’t an unusual asking price. However, he aint getting that as a back up.

    Not sure what he’s asking for, but it shouldn’t be for more than Landry’s $4.5mil

  • hdogg48

    A tip of the hat for your research or memory.

    Still I like Dobbs demeanor. Sure not as tough as
    Favre (who is? ), but I see a lot of similarities
    in their games in terms of scrambling ability and
    propensity to shake off mistakes and redeem
    themselves through making plays.

  • John Phillips

    Your last statement was astute. Has the NFL jumped the shark?

  • melblount

    Help me out here…I’m just not seeing the Bulldogs or the Gators on the Steelers schedule this year.

    And, FWIW, I did NOT say anything in my post about Landry Jones. You DID however, and mem359 (I trust) answered your questions for you.

    That all said, I have heard that today’s MMJ is REALLY potent.

  • Axe Skot

    Mike Vick 2.0? On what planet is he a new version of a psychopathic dog torturer for expressing his 1st amendment rights? 16 TD’s and 4 INT on a garbage team? A Superbowl team needs good players and there is a ? at backup QB. He would easily be the best backup QB in the league. He might be better than some team’s #1. This guy is a good athlete with principles at odds with some sheeple. The Steelers could use him. Period.

  • pittfan

    Thx. That’s a lot of bread for a backup.

  • hdogg48

    Dobbs is a rookie with less than 30 NFL practices
    and two Exhibition (Practice) Games under his belt.

    True the level of NFL talent is much greater than
    that in the College Game, but the stage of SEC
    competition is a good dress rehearsal for
    the Broadway lights of the NFL.

    Nylan Stadium routinely draws 100,000 fans.
    I remember in 1997 when I visited my dying
    Aunt in Ocala Florida it was hard to get
    a room because the NCAA Champion Gators
    were holding their Spring PRACTICE game in Gainsville
    and there weren’t any rooms there.

    There is a possibility that Dobbs will be a bust
    as were Johnny Football and Tim Tebow.

    I just see him with more potential in terms of
    athletic ability, smarts, and most importantly…CHARACTER.

  • Tristana

    Landry Jones compared to EVERY SINGLE Quarterback in Steelers history that have completed more than 40 passes

    has the 2nd highest Career Quarterback Rating – only behind Big Ben.
    He has the 2nd highest completion precentage – only behind Big Ben.
    He has the HIGHEST Net Yards gained per pass attempt.

    Just sayin. I’m very fine with having him as a backup.

  • Zarbor

    Bingo!

  • Jaybird

    If that’s true- that he wants 10 million, I now know why he is still unemployed and it has nothing to do with the national anthem!

  • RickM

    Minor point, but Landry actually only averages $2.2 M a year on his two-year deal. Tough to know what Kaepernick may or may not settle for.

  • danrunner

    A lot of bread for a backup with BAGGAGE

  • danrunner

    Bucky Hodges (isn’t that his name–the dude from Va Tech?) was there. How nice would a skilled TE look in this offense. Just sayin

  • Matthew Marczi

    He was prepared to sign with the Seahawks to be Russell Wilson’s backup back in May, so I don’t believe that’s the case.

  • J.

    No just no that’s all that needs to be said about having him on the Steelers.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Like I said, I plead ignorance when it comes to the general nature of abdominal injuries. The entire premise is predicated upon the possibility that Jones’ issue could linger in a way that jeopardizes his ability to play if necessary. Roethlisberger misses game almost every year, so chances are another quarterback is going to have to play meaningful snaps in 2017. If Jones is or will be fine, then there is no problem.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, it’s quite a thing to think about. If there is an issue with Jones, I could see them potentially pursuing a trade for a backup.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He also had comebacks against the Raiders in 2015 and the Browns last year, in addition to the Arizona game mem mentioned.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Obviously we’re not talking season-wise. We’re basically never talking season-wise. Anybody who loses their starting quarterback for the entire year is likely doomed. But four a three- or four-game stint? The Steelers have already done that a few times. Even made it to the Super Bowl.

  • Matthew Marczi

    So was Mike Vick, and they signed him when they needed a backup.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I don’t believe there is any verified information about his asking price. Just a ton of speculation, much of it angled to portray him in a negative light, to be perfectly honest.

  • hdogg48

    The 2015 Raiders were 7-9
    and last year’s Browns were 1-15, and the game was
    meaningless as most of the starters sat.

    I agree that Jones has cemented his spot as
    No. 2, but if he’s not healthy Dobbs is going
    to get a shot.

  • Trey

    I rather send a draft pick for AJ Mccaron just saying. Blake Bortles is trash.

  • Dan

    Vick was at the end of the road when we signed him. Kaep is young, and still capable of playing. He wouldn’t have any more trouble picking up the system than Dobbs would, and is probably better than Jones (setting the bar low here, I know). Of course, if he’s holding out for a starting gig, well…have fun in Jacksonville.

  • Dan

    He’s a garbage time hero. The Jags get crushed, and he gets to put up passing numbers against defenses that have done their job already and are packing it in. He’s still young, and could benefit from a less distracting environment to work on his craft. Because man, does it ever need work.

  • Dan

    The FA market for backups looks terrible. They may have to hope for a quality cut (unlikely) or trade (which I’m not crazy about.) Unless they could coax Romo out of retirement in a pinch…of course, he’d get injured immediately.

  • Trey

    All I do know is that in 2018 I would be targeting CB Malcolm Butler or CB Xavier Rhodes, TE Jimmy Graham, QB Teddy Bridgewater and QB Mathew Stafford. That is if these free agents don’t sign with there teams. Butler and Graham almost certainly won’t be signing with there current teams. I mean getting Malcolm & Graham will be a major upgrade in my opinion. Hell, I will even take Bridgewater and Malcolm and will be happy for the next 4 to 5 years.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I was thinking the same thing about this last week after seeing the show about Bettis on the NFL network. It wasn’t working for him with the Rams, but the change of scenery to a winning atmosphere turned his career around.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Well luckily we wouldn’t be asking him to come right in and start or anything. Just an insurance policy of sorts. I think he could benefit from having the pressure off and learning from his twin brother, Ben. Lol.

  • DarthYinzer

    Dear God, keep Colin K far away from the Steeler locker room. As much as I hate Laundry Jones, Kaep would be an unmitigated disaster.

  • John A Stewart

    16 TDs last year and 4 int you must of bumped you head.

  • John A Stewart

    You forgot about the Rooney rules

  • John A Stewart

    Please tell me you talking about Landry Jones

  • John A Stewart

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Matthew Marczi

    You asked about comebacks. I didn’t place a value judgement on the quality of the comeback, but he does have three comebacks in his career. That said, I can’t say with confidence that the Steelers would turn to Dobbs rather than a veteran off the street in the first half of the season if Roethlisberger suffered an injury that would cause him to miss more than a game.

  • pittfan

    Well he could clear up the speculation in a minute by stating what he’s looking to make. That would end the speculation. Maybe he’s enjoying the Martyr role too much and is hoping he can shame a team into overpaying for him.

  • hdogg48

    Fair point….I wouldn’t either.

    Thanks for all your insight. I enjoy and
    look forward to your work.

  • Taylor Williams

    He’s too timid for me. Landry had shown flashes and has good enough accuracy, but he gets scared when the pocket collapses. I’ve seen his look at his 1st and 2nd read then he starts to flinch when they’re not open.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Given the scrutiny teams will receive, I don’t think they will be shamed into overpaying for him, but I have no evidence that suggests he doesn’t enjoy being viewed as a martyr of sorts. It wouldn’t completely surprise me if he walks away from the game within a year.

  • Rocksolid20

    My thoughts too .

  • Rocksolid20

    He can hold out with Bell .

  • Rocksolid20

    Give them Jones and Golson for Bortles .

  • Rocksolid20

    Georgia and Florida aren’t NFL teams , some of their players
    maybe but not whole defenses .

  • Rocksolid20

    By default , not preformance .

  • Michael Martin

    Connor Shaw would be my back up QB choice. Would catapult all of ours to Chicago for him. Even Golden and Touissaint. 5 for 1.

  • Conserv_58

    It goes without saying that the Steelers’ back up QB situation is precarious, at best. Pray that Ben never gets injured.

  • Rick McClelland

    I too think the Steelers should make the grab for Blake Bortles. Better QB than he is showing with the Jags. Take Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Big Ben and drop them on a crappy roster like the Jags, Jets, or Browns, and none of them would have much of a career either. You need a good supporting cast to be a good QB. Bortles doesn’t have it in Jacksonville and would be a great backup in Pittsburgh.

  • James Bradley

    Who’s ranking is thus ? L.
    Jones has done more than TJ Yates. C. Jones has never even played. M. Glennon ??? We have seen lots of Geno Smith, and he never looked as good as Landry vs ARI, rarely even matched Landry vs CLE or NE.

    Half the guys on this list dont belong….when was the last time Chad Henne had any meaningful playing time, 4, 5 years ago ??

    L. Jones is easily a Top 10 back up in this league, especially when you are looking at guys like Matt Moore & AJ McCarron!!

    Not only that, but the best back up QB in football is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who somehow this flawed innaccurate list failed to show

  • James Bradley

    He has 3 comebacks….the ARI game, Jones relieved an injured Ben and drove Pgh to winning score late in the 4th Quarter vs OAK, and he lead a come from behind OT win as a starter vs CLE playing without Brown or Bell.