Young led the Eagles on two scoring drives against Jets backups before leaving with a strained hamstring late in the second quarter in a 24-14 preseason victory Thursday night.
"I think he's going to be OK, from what I understand," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We'll MRI him just to make sure. We'll see how he does after that."
With Philadelphia's new $100 million man resting up for the regular season, Young got the start and certainly showed he's more than capable of being Michael Vick's backup. Whether the Eagles (3-1) have Young to start the regular season is another matter.
While 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). He was about to run for the first down when his right leg locked up and he ended up throwing the ball incomplete as he crumpled to the turf.
"He's done a nice job and he would have scored on the last one," said Reid, who added that he considers Young his No. 2 quarterback. "That was a run-in right there."
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 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 offside 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. He also was hurt when he got popped by Matthias Berning on a passing play and suffered bruised ribs.
"Once I recovered, I was able to go back in and play," Kafka said. "They took a timeout so I could get my bearings straight."
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. McElroy, a seventh-round pick out of Alabama, had his hand wrapped after the game and said he popped his thumb back in himself, but wasn't sure if it was dislocated.
"We'll get it looked at (Friday)," McElroy said. "Hopefully, the recovery will be quick. You've got to be optimistic about it."
McElroy said he had a preliminary X-ray that "didn't reveal much." He's scheduled to have an MRI on Friday morning.
"It was great," said Willy, a former star at the University of Buffalo. "Anytime you can throw a touchdown on your first play, you've got to love that."
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, but coach Rex Ryan said he's optimistic the veteran will be ready for the opener against Dallas.
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 but Young sat this one out.
The Jets re-signed Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Eric Smith and Brodney Pool and also brought in Derrick Mason and 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 helped by a questionable personal foul call on Pool.
The Jets tied it early in the second quarter on McKnight's TD reception from Willy, who finished 9-of-17 for 109 yards.
"My main goal just going into camp in general was to make the most of every opportunity I had," said McKnight, a former star at Colorado. "For the only ball to come my way in a game this preseason and be able to catch it for a touchdown, that's a good feeling."
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.
"It was good that I got a lot of touches in game situations," said Lewis, who's behind LeSean McCoy and Brown on the depth chart. "The more reps you get, that's how you develop as a player. You get more comfortable the more plays you are in."
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 with just under 13 minutes left kept New York in it.
Alex Henery's 49-yard field goal with 6:42 remaining put the Eagles up 24-14.
The Eagles dominated in total offensive yards, rolling up 378 to the Jets' 117. ... Philadelphia went 10-for-19 on third downs, while New York was 1-of-10. ... Jets LB Aaron Maybin, a former first-round pick of Buffalo trying to make the roster, had 1 1/2 sacks. Ryan said he's on the bubble. ... Jets LB Brashton Satele had a game-high eight tackles. ... Eagles rookie LB Brian Rolle had 1 1/2 sacks.