Michael Vick is a quarterback who’s constantly beaten, and often bruised.
He doesn’t like it. He hates it, and hates it passionately. He thinks he’s not treated fairly, and isn’t given the same coddling from referees that other quarterbacks around the league receive routinely.
He’s not understanding two basic elements of being Michael Vick. When the quarterback mold is broken, you no longer benefit from the protection of that mold, and when that protection is gone and you’re regularly vulnerable to the wrath of defenders paid to crush quarterbacks, injuries will follow.
It’s a simple yet harsh equation, and one that will now reportedly see Vick on the Philadelphia sideline for the next three-to-four weeks. Vick left the Eagles’ loss to the Giants Sunday with a hand injury after taking a hit in the third quarter, and now Howard Eskin of NBC 10 in Philadelphia is reporting that a broken right non-throwing hand will keep Vick out for at least three weeks.
Although Vick hasn’t had an MRI yet, Eskin reports that the team is already preparing to move forward without their mobile offensive leader for the next few games. That existence will lead to either Mike Kafka or Vince Young under center for games against the 49ers, Bills, and Redskins before Philadelphia’s Week 7 bye.
Knowing that the risks associated with Vick’s style of play lead to both points on the scoreboard and time in the trainer’s room (Vick has played a full 16-game season only once in his eight-year career), the Eagles signed Young to be Vick’s backup during the early August frenzy in which they signed nearly every available free agent. Young seemed like a logical complement to Vick as a backup because of his similar style of play that focuses on mobility and making plays out of the pocket, meaning the adjustment for the offense if Vick went down would be minimal.
But Young was sluggish while learning the Philly offense during the preseason, a process hampered by a hamstring injury that reduced him to being Vick’s babysitter. Still, he was healthy and on the active roster for the first time this season yesterday, and due to his mobility a healthy Young will likely be re-inserted as Vick’s backup, and the starter in his absence.
Andy Reid’s decision won’t be easy though after Mike Kafka–the Eagles’ other quarterback who was originally the third-stringer–completed 69.4 percent of his throws in the preseason, and had a quarterback rating of 100.0 while filling in for Vick during a Week 2 loss to Atlanta. Kafka’s two interceptions yesterday won’t help his cause though.
The NFC East isn’t quite the feared division it was several years ago, but now with a 1-2 record the Dream Team will be playing without its starting quarterback during road games against two potentially unbeaten teams over the next three weeks (Redskins and Bills). The dream could become nightmarish quickly.
We should probably talk in our quiet voices so people don’t get too excited and start running through the streets of Buffalo with only an old Marshawn Lynch jersey covering their private areas, but look at the Bills’ schedule now. The menacing Bengals loom next week, followed by the Vick-less Eagles, and the Giants. The Eagles are still certainly no gimmie, but that game is now significantly easier without Vick. So if they can get past a depleted Philly offense and New York, there could be a zero in the loss column when the Bills come to Toronto after their Week 7 bye.
UPDATE: Reid told reporters during a press conference that Vick had an MRI, and it revealed a contusion instead of a break. He said Vick is “day-to-day” and the injury will be re-evaluated once the swelling goes down.