Michael Vick seems to get hurt during a football game as often as the average person puts on pants, or washes underwear. In fact, he may even get hurt more often than the average person washes their underwear, and I’m not sure if that says more about Vick or us. Probably us.
During the Eagles’ first pre-season game, Vick left in pain after his thumb struck a helmet on his follow through. After he was given the highly-advanced remedy of a glass of cold water to dip his slightly swollen thumb into, X-rays were taken and it was determined that Vick had dodged a serious injury. It was only a contusion, which is a scary medical word for a bruise.
Tonight in his second pre-season game, he visited the X-ray room again.
On a broken play when Evan Mathis was beat easily and Vick was forced to do what he does best (run wildly), he ran into more Patriot defenders who wanted to plant their facemask into his ribcage. Jermaine Cunningham was eventually successful in that endeavor.
(Via CJ Zero)
Vick rose to his feet and tried to continue, but he quickly went back down to a knee again and eventually walked off to the locker room. ESPN’s Lisa Salters confirmed that images of Vick’s potentially busted ribs were indeed being taken by an X-ray machine, and then later she said the results were negative. Last year Vick missed three games when he broke two ribs.
You didn’t need another reason to fear Vick on draft day, but he was more than happy to provide you with one. In fairness to Vick and his status as a QB with durability equal to that of a snow globe in a soaking wet paper bag, what else should he have done on this play?
He gets a lot of flack for unnecessarily exposing himself during runs downfield, but that didn’t happen here. He was frantically scrambling deep in his pocket after his offensive line collapsed. There was no opportunity to step out of bounds, and no chance to slide. His only option was to throw the ball away, and he did that, but a second too late.
The difficulty with Vick from a fantasy perspective is that even if he misses, say, three-to-four games, for the other 12 or so games he’s usually posting elite numbers. That’s especially true in leagues that award more points for rushing yards, which is most leagues.
After he’s left two straight pre-season games early, I can’t justify using a second-round pick on Vick, even with that massive upside. However, if the price you’re paying is a handful of picks later and in the middle of the third round, then the risk is manageable. And how exactly do you manage that risk? In reality (or at least in theory), the Eagles know that they need to employ the league’s best backup. You’ll do the same in fantasy by quickly reaching for an above average backup early.
Jay Cutler is the ideal target since he’s usually still on the board late in the ninth round or early in the 10th. That’s enough of a gap that you can still address other needs with the five picks between rounds four and eight before investing in insurance to reinforce that early-round risk.