EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With the Philadelphia Eagles’ new $100 million man resting up for the regular season, Vince Young showed he’s more than capable of being Michael Vick’s backup.
Whether the Eagles have Young to start the regular season is another matter.
Young led the Eagles on two scoring drives against New York Jets backups before leaving with a hamstring injury in a 24-14 preseason victory Thursday night.
Young started for Vick, who signed his big six-year deal that included about $40 million guaranteed on Tuesday, as both teams rested almost all of their starters in the preseason finale. Young was 15 of 23 for 193 yards and a touchdown pass to Chad Hall, but was hurt when he rolled out on a fourth-down play against the Jets (2-2) just before halftime.
Young was about to run for the first down when his right leg appeared to get stuck in the turf. He ended up throwing the ball incomplete as he crumpled to the turf. Young, signed as a free agent in the offseason after an up-and-down five seasons in Tennessee, got up and limped to the sideline where trainers looked at his right leg. He headed to the locker room with 18 seconds remaining in the half and didn’t come out with the rest of the team to start the second half.
The severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known.
The play came after the Eagles (3-1) faked a field-goal attempt on fourth-and-6 from the Jets 14 that was intercepted by Jamaal Westerman, but New York was called offsides making it fourth-and-1 for Philadelphia. As it turned out, the Eagles probably wished the play had stood.
Mike Kafka replaced Young to start the third quarter for the Eagles, and went 7 of 11 for 76 yards and an interception.
The Jets also saw their backup quarterback go down as rookie Greg McElroy, starting for Mark Sanchez, left after injuring his right thumb in the second quarter. Drew Willy, an undrafted free agent, came in and connected with Scotty McKnight _ a seventh-round pick and Sanchez’s childhood friend _ on his first play of the game for a 14-yard touchdown for the Jets.
With Sanchez resting and McElroy hurt, Willy was the only healthy quarterback left on the Jets’ roster. Backup Mark Brunell hasn’t played this preseason while recovering from a calf injury.
This matchup might be a bit more entertaining in a few months, when the Eagles host the Jets on Dec. 18 in a game between teams that made lots of noise by signing some big names after the lockout ended. The Jets lost out on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, considered the top free agent available, when the Eagles swooped in and signed him. Philadelphia also brought in Young, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and RB Ronnie Brown — all of whom sat this one out, other than Young.
The Jets re-signed Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Eric Smith and Brodney Pool and also brought in Plaxico Burress, who served a 20-month prison sentence on a gun charge before resuming his NFL career. Burress, Holmes and Sanchez spent a lot of time chatting with each other on the sideline during this battle of backups.
Young put the Eagles up with his 16-yard strike to Hall on the Eagles’ second possession, a 91-yard drive that was helped by a questionable personal foul call on Pool.
The Jets tied in early in the second quarter on McKnight’s TD reception from Willy, who finished 9 of 17 for 109 yards.
Philadelphia went up 14-7 with 5:16 left in the half on Dion Lewis’ 1-yard run, capping a 12-play drive. Lewis, a fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, finished with 62 yards rushing and three catches for 38 yards.
Graig Cooper had a 1-yard run in the third quarter to give Philadelphia a 21-7 lead, but Ellis Lankster’s 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in with just under 13 minutes left in the game kept New York in it.
Alex Henery’s 49-yard field goal with 6:42 remaining put the Eagles up 24-14.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)