Vick to Be Re-Evaluated for Giants Game

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will be re-evaluated today after a doctor’s exam and an MRI to judge the effects of a concussion.

Team trainer Rick Burkholder said there was no timetable for deciding when Vick might return to action after suffering the concussion in last night’s 35-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles are scheduled to play the New York Giants on Sept. 25.

Vick was injured in the third quarter and kept out of the game after he failed a baseline concussion test, Burkholder said today in a press conference. Vick will see an independent neurologist, and have impact testing and an MRI, in accordance with team and league protocols, Burkholder said.

“I spoke with him on the airplane and he was absolutely fine last night,” Burkholder said. “There’s a lot that needs to go on over the next three, four, five, seven days, but we have an outline and we’ve done this before.”

Vick was injured in his return to Atlanta as a starting quarterback, forcing the Eagles to rely on third-stringer quarterback Mike Kafka. Philadelphia surrendered 14 points over the final 11 minutes to lose to the team where Vick played before he was imprisoned for helping run a dogfighting ring.

“We wanted to get pressure on him,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said of Vick, who played for Atlanta from 2001 to 2006. “We wanted to try to sack him. We executed the game plan.”

Two years ago in Philadelphia’s 34-7 win in Atlanta, Vick spent most of the game on the sideline as a third-string backup. At the time, he said he was grateful just to be back in the National Football League.

Comeback Player

Vick took over as the Eagles’ starter last season, was voted the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year and entered this season targeting a Super Bowl title. Vick’s return to Georgia’s capital city came three weeks after he signed a six-year, $100 million contract.

Through almost three quarters of play last night, the Eagles appeared poised for a win and 2-0 start, having seized the lead and momentum.

Falcons safety William Moore then slammed into Vick in the Eagles’ backfield, sending him face first into the chest of 6- foot-6, 321-pound lineman Todd Herremans. Vick’s body bent backward as he fell to the ground. He wasn’t wearing a mouthpiece at the time, bit his tongue and was spitting blood while being led to the locker room a short time later.

Burkholder said that the team ran comparison tests after taking Vick off the field, allowing team doctors to compare Vick’s functions before the hit to his cognitive abilities afterward.

‘Standard Protocol’

“We have a whole baseline of tests on all these guys and he was just a little bit off, enough that we acted on the side of caution and held him back, as our standard protocol said,” Burkholder said.

Burkholder added that Vick was “very far along last night,” and that it was too early to rule the quarterback out of the game against the Giants.

“Hopefully he’s OK,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said in a press conference. “You never like to see anybody go down. So hopefully he bounces back.”

Vick wasn’t available to talk to the media after the game.

“We knew that we were putting hits on him,” Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton told reporters. “You never want to hurt anybody, but at the same time we’re a physical team.”

Vick had completed 19-of-28 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns before the injury. He also had one interception and had fumbled three times, losing two. Vick was limited to 25 rushing yards on six carries by Atlanta’s defense.

Mixed Reception

With Vick back in town, Atlanta’s Georgia Dome was filled with fans wearing a mixture of Falcons’ and Eagles’ jerseys with his No. 7 on the back. The visiting team drew mostly jeers when Vick led them on to the field to start the game. His first return two years ago drew raucous cheers from Falcons fans.

The Falcons will face the Buccaneers next week in Tampa in a matchup of 1-1 teams in the NFC South division.

The Eagles, who committed $225 million in salaries and acquired six Pro Bowl players over a two-week span during the offseason, fell to 1-1.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net; Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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