Veteran QB On Track To Start Against Steelers, Whose Fans Could Take Over MetLife


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Michael Vick expects to be ready for his second start with the New York Jets.

He hopes fans will follow suit with the Pittsburgh Steelers — whose fans are known to travel well — on tap to visit MetLife Stadium.

“As professionals, we’ve still got to show up,” Vick said Monday. “Hopefully the fans will come out and support. If not, we understand.”

Vick said “true fans” will continue to root on New York despite a disappointing 1-8 record.

“Are you a true fan if you’re only going to be a part of it when things are going good?” he said. “The true fans will come out and support. We appreciate that. But at the same time, we understand why they could be upset.”

Coach Rex Ryan acknowledged there would be some Pittsburgh representation in the stands, but hopefully not as much as some believe.

“I think our Jets fans will outnumber them,” Ryan said. “I’m pretty sure our fans will be out there in good numbers.”

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Meanwhile, the veteran quarterback insisted he is fine after banging the back of his head and briefly leaving the Jets’ game at Kansas City on Sunday.

“I feel good,” he said. “After playing my first full game in a year and a half, I feel good.”

Vick was shaken up early in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ 24-10 loss when he was popped by Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga after throwing an incomplete pass.

Vick’s head slammed into the turf and he was slow to get up. The 34-year-old quarterback was replaced by Matt Simms, but passed the NFL’s concussion protocol before returning a few minutes later.

“No headaches, no nothing,” Vick said.

He and coach Rex Ryan said a lingering foot injury was more of an issue — but it shouldn’t keep him from playing against the Steelers on Sunday.

“He passed all those (concussion) tests to get back cleared,” Ryan said. “If anything, he’s got a foot that keeps getting stepped on. I think that’s the biggest concern right now.”

Vick, starting in place of Geno Smith, was 21 of 28 for 196 yards and a touchdown and committed no turnovers. It was his first regular-season start since last Oct. 27 against the Giants while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“You really don’t need confirmation when you believe in yourself and you trust your abilities, and you trust your preparation,” he said.

“To be able to go out there and play efficiently is great for me. I still didn’t play up to my standards because we didn’t score as much as I knew we could have scored. We didn’t put as many points on the board.

“But I believe in myself and I believe in what I can do, and I have been telling you that from Day 1.”

Smith, inactive with a sore right shoulder, is uncertain for Sunday against the Steelers. He threw before the game, but wasn’t completely comfortable so the Jets sat him in favor of Simms.

“I hope he’s fine, but we’ll see as the week progresses,” Ryan said. “He was able to throw, all that type of stuff, for the most part. I know he feels better right now, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

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