Michael Vick has had many firsts during his NFL career, but he did something new even for him last Sunday. According to a Jets player, Vick threw a pass so hard he broke the finger of a teammate.
Vick entered the game midway through the first quarter for starter Geno Smith. Head coach Rex Ryan decided to go with the veteran Vick again on Sunday.
When asked about the transition to Vick as their starter, defensive end Sheldon Richardson said he’s noticed the 34-year-old quarterback’s unique skill set in practice, including his legendary arm. It was that cannon that caused an injury to tight end Jeff Cumberland last Sunday.
“I think he still got it. Why? He can fire the football that’s why,” Richardson said. “He broke Jeff’s finger on a pass in the last game. He’s still got it.”
On Wednesday, Cumberland was sporting green tape on the middle finger of his left hand. He denied that his finger was broken, saying it was just dinged up.
“I was trying to grab the ball,” Cumberland said. “Right place, right time.”
Cumberland is expected to play on Sunday despite the finger injury. He was listed on the injury report, but was a full participant in practice Wednesday.
By all accounts, Vick has looked good in practice this week.
“It’s a lot of responsibility for any quarterback in this league. I think when you have a chance to go out and show and prove, I think you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity,” Vick said on Wednesday. “They don’t come around too often as I’ve seen for the last year and a half not being the starter. So just having this chance to become a starter again is almost like a dream come true. It’s just something that I want to take full advantage of and go out and have fun with my teammates and try to get a win. And that’s the challenge. It’s going to be tough on the road in Kansas City. But, what else would you want? You wouldn’t want it any other way.”
The future may not be so bright for Smith, whose struggles this year are as bad as last season. It will be the first time in his NFL career Smith will not be the starter.
“He’s in a little struggle right now. It’s still early but it’s not the end of the world,” Richardson said. “No one wants to be benched, no one wants to be taken off their starting role and be put into a backup role, no matter how politically correct it sounds. Still, as a competitor, it doesn’t sit well. It’s still a business.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.