Michael Vick: Why New Flak Jacket Won't Solve Eagles QB's Injury Woes
When healthy, Michael Vick is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in football. Injuries have always been a problem for the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, however, so he's going to try yet another new technique to protect himself when the season begins.
Vick will wear a new flak jacket that uses Kevlar and is designed specifically for him to ensure it doesn't impact his playing ability, according to Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News. It's intended to better protect his ribs, which are still sore from a preseason hit.
Update: Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 11:10 a.m. ET
It turns out the CEO of the company which made Vick's special protective jacket is confident it will completely protect him. He told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com "I guarantee he will not get hurt."
While it's safe to assume Rob Vito was only talking about Vick's damaged ribs and not his whole body, he is clearly confident the product will work perfectly. Not to mention the story serves as a good marketing opportunity.
Now Eagles fans can sit back and see if the jacket lives up to the hype while also hoping he doesn't suffer a different injury.
----End of update----
Although it's good to see him exhausting every option in an attempt to make it through an entire regular season without missing games, it's hard to believe a new flak jacket will suddenly make him significantly more durable.
He's earned the dreaded injury-prone label based on a history of injuries. Only once during his nine seasons in the NFL has he participated in all 16 games, and he has missed at least two contests in both of his years as the Eagles starter.
The only way Vick can truly buck that trend would be changing the way he plays. He leaves himself exposed to big hits and defenders aren't going to pass up the opportunity to take a shot at the opposing team's star quarterback.
Add in the fact that Vick isn't built like a prototypical signal-caller and it equals a lot of time spent on the injury report. That's just something the Eagles have to accept for as long as he's the starter.
How many games will Vick start this season?
Trying to make him a one-dimensional player would severely limit what makes him special in the first place, which is his athleticism. His ability to create plays with his legs makes up for a lack of accuracy in the pocket.
Therefore, while the Kevlar jacket is a cool idea and might protect him from more serious damage, the Eagles shouldn't expect it to be a miracle cure. Nick Foles or Mike Kafka will have to remain on standby and be ready to lead the offense in 2012.
The fact Vick is already dealing with a lingering injury doesn't bode well for his chances to make it through four months of punishing hits. The Eagles can't afford to have the offense struggle if they are going to keep pace in the tough NFC East.
In other words, the Eagles should hope for the best, but can't be caught off guard if he misses games even with the special flak jacket protecting him.
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