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Has Donovan McNabb Played His Last NFL Game?

Though the new backup quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings - Donovan McNabb - is "surprised" about his benching in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, he's going to do all he can as a backup to help the team win. Whether that means keeping himself in shape to step in of there's an injury or by helping Ponder to grow into his role as a starter. McNabb gave the usual line about being one play away from being put back into the lineup and how he needs to be prepared for such a situation.

But it brings up the thought about whether or not we've seen McNabb play in his last NFL game. He's 34 years-old and hasn't looked like a starting quarterback with regularity since some of his final days with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was benched three times by Mike Shanahan as a member of the Washington Redskins and now has been benched after a 1-5 start by the Vikings. With another promising young quarterback in Joe Webb on the roster, where does McNabb go from here?

Unless he is released and some quarterback-needy team, desperate to turn around their 2011 campaign, signs him to a deal, then he probably won't be playing this year, especially now that the trade deadline has just passed us by. And what about what happens after that? Could you see a team going with a near-35 year-old McNabb in the offseason with intentions of making him the starter? It would have to be a situation like the one in Minnesota this year, where he plays in front of a rookie who isn't quite ready until it's evident that he just doesn't have it anymore.

And it's not likely any team considers that a viable option. He might get signed as a backup somewhere but no, we're probably looking at the end of the line for McNabb and his last game in the NFL.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.