We’re in roughly hour 17 of Vick Watch. As is also the case with Manning Watch, this stakeout is infinitely better than Lockout Watch, although I do miss Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana.
As you’re well aware by now unless you not only missed last night’s game, but were also living in a nuclear bunker until moments ago, Vick left Philadelphia’s loss to Atlanta with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. He sustained a concussion when he was wrapped up by Falcons safety William Moore, and while crumpling to the ground Vick’s head hit the shoulder of guard Todd Herremans violently. Vick reportedly argued with team doctors and trainers, fighting to be allowed back into the game.
The league’s concussion protocol dictates that Vick must pass a series of tests before he can even set foot on the practice field prior to Philly’s divisional clash Sunday against the Giants. But the first positive sign for a quick recovery is the fact that as of right now on Monday afternoon, the Eagles haven’t ruled Vick out yet.
A team official told Frank Reuben of Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia that the Eagles believe Vick has a good chance of being cleared in time for the team’s Week 3 home-opener. A concussion is of course a fickle injury, and Reuben also notes that every Eagles player who’s suffered a concussion since the league’s new guidelines were implemented in late 2009 has missed at least one game. That list is seven players long, and five of those noggin knocks occurred last season.
False hope can be created with concussions when they’re assigned a grade and doctors use words like “mild.” That’s why this morning Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder didn’t use any vague medical terms. He was still vague though, but with a purpose.
“We’re going to go through our protocol. We’re 13 hours post-injury. It’s not fair to Michael. It’s not fair to coach. It’s not fair to the NFL. It’s not fair to anybody.
“I’m not going to tell you [Tuesday] that he’s cleared.”
The good news from Burkholder is that Vick was coherent, resting, and feeling “pretty good” immediately after the game. Combine that with sources who told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his concussion is “slight” (there’s one of those words we’re looking for!), and, well, you can go ahead and draw your own wild conclusions.
Burkholder also said that following Vick’s baseline tests in the locker room last night he was close to returning, but he was still “just a little bit off.’ That’s more than enough when dealing with a concussion, which is why Vick’s final act in Atlanta last night was a spit take. Further testing to meet the league’s return-to-play protocol could begin today with an MRI.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid wouldn’t commit to a starting quarterback in the event that Vick can’t play, but he expressed confidence in Mike Kafka. Vince Young is close to returning from a preseason hamstring injury, but Reid should careful if he’s satisfied with Young’s health and is thinking about rolling with the former Titan. It could be an impostor.