Squirm Eagles fans! Squirm!
When it’s impossible to say or write a quarterback’s name without attaching the qualifier that he’s injury prone, trotting him onto the field in a bubble during the preseason begins to sound like a reasonable option. In Michael Vick’s case, a bubble may not have protected him tonight, but he probably still would have known the difference between moops and mores.
As is typical with nearly every starting quarterback during the first week of preseason play, Vick only planned on sticking around for a short time tonight during the Eagles preseason debut against Pittsburgh. He did, but his exit wasn’t a quiet, peaceful one, as his thumb banged off of the helmet worn by center Jason Kelce during a follow through.
Vick shook his hand in pain as one does when a body part hits a hard object. He likely said a few naughty words, like maybe “fudge” or perhaps even “fiddlesticks.” Personally, I prefer “monkey.”
Immediately there was concern, which was understandable since Vick has shown an inability to keep his bones in their proper functioning state, and since becoming the Eagles’ starter two years ago he’s missed five games. Everyone with access to a keyboard reminded everyone with access to a computer monitor (hey, we’re in tough economic times, and some people don’t have both) that Vick is injury prone.
That was another understandable and inevitable step in the process we repeat every time Vick gets hurt, but some perspective was lacking. Even in those brief moments of panic before X-rays on his thumb were negative, and before Dr. LeSean McCoy said that his QB is fine during a sideline interview, it was quite apparent that if there was an injury, it was of the freak variety. It wouldn’t have been a muscle strain or a pull, or anything that reflects brittleness. It was a hand hitting a helmet, which is simply unlucky, and it doesn’t reflect the state of Vick’s body.
While we should try to resist such quick conclusions, Vick’s painful exit reminded us of how thin the Eagles are at quarterback beyond him. Mike Kafka threw an ugly interception to a defensive lineman on his first pass attempt. Nick Foles later entered the game and looked very good against defenders who mostly weren’t very good, but his 144 passing yards and two touchdowns will still put pressure on Kafka.
To summarize: nothing changed for the Eagles tonight. Vick is still unlucky and often has the durability of a piece of styrofoam, and the depth beyond him is either inexperienced, or inefficient. In fantasy and reality, Vick is dangerous for both opponents, and your sanity.
Approach with caution.