Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick: Will QB's Knee Injury Change Eagles' Game Plan vs. Steelers?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

Michael Vick didn't turn the ball over en route to an Eagles victory over the New York Giants Sunday evening, but he didn't come away completely unscathed.

According to Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jeff McLane, Vick suffered a minor knee injury:

Vick has a knee contusion. He's fine.

— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 1, 2012

Fine is a positive word when it comes to injuries, but this is Vick. One slight tweak could easily lead to one major setback, like we've seen so many times throughout his career.

He's banged up heading into the Eagles' Week 5 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite his knee contusion, don't expect Andy Reid to change the team's game plan one bit. Reid loves using Vick as much as possible, win or lose, healthy or not.

If Vick is in the lineup, and not visibly limping around, expect things to remain status quo. Not only is it the team's best chance of winning the game, but the Steelers aren't necessarily the team everyone has gotten used to over the years.

Pittsburgh's pass rush has only generated five sacks in three games so far this season. Dick LeBeau's exotic blitzing schemes simply aren't working, at least partially due to Pittsburgh's age on the defensive side of the ball.

That's not saying that Vick needs to run around like a madman seeking out contact, but Pittsburgh isn't propelling the same QB-seeking missiles that it usually is. The Steelers are slower, older and looking mostly worn-out so far.

Philadelphia figured out its offense in Sunday night's win over the Giants. The Birds didn't turn the ball over, protected Vick and leaned on LeSean McCoy appropriately.

Their electrifying skill players give them an advantage over most teams—including the Steelers—because of their outstanding speed on the outside.

Vick's legs add another element to that, but his six carries Sunday night showed that that's not completely necessary.

Vick has only played a full 16-game regular season once in his 10-year career. He defines fragile because of his slight 215-pound frame, constantly taking a beating because of it. Reid knows what kind of player Vick is; you can't head into a game with him behind center and not know it.

Despite the Steelers' setbacks this season, the Eagles aren't going to "out-tough" them with their offense. The Eagles will continue to use their speed to create mismatches, Vick being one of those.

Philly's balanced attack made a huge difference against the Giants. It allowed them to move the ball without turning it over and keep the defense off balance. Expect more of that in Week 5, with Vick leading the way.

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