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.