The Philadelphia Eagles' 2010 season started so promising with the emergence of Michael Vick, but now that he's nursing an unknown rib and chest injury, the season that had fans starting to believe could be over before it really gets a chance to start.
Preliminary reports suggest that Vick did not break any ribs and that there is no serious damage, but the official report likely won't be available until Tuesday or Wednesday after an MRI is taken and Vick sees the team doctors.
If Vick is forced to miss a lengthy period of time, say even two to four games, it's unlikely the team is able to keep their heads above water for that long with Kevin Kolb under center. Even against a very weak secondary, Kolb was unable to move the ball down the field and relied very heavily upon his check-down read.
He didn't have to, he just refused to make any other read.
And the defense, regardless of who's under center, has been dreadful. Vick's ability to move the offense down the field and put a lot of points on the board was the only thing that was going to keep the season alive and give them any hope.
If Vick is forced to miss, let's say, two weeks, I would expect the Birds to drop both of those games, which would put them in a real hole at 2-4. That doesn't have to kill a team's season, but when they were hanging on by a thread to begin with, it could be just enough to knock them out of the NFC East race entirely.
One has to believe the Cowboys will get it together eventually, and the Redskins and Giants are always hard to predict. They could both go on a losing streak and keep the Eagles alive by default, or they could both start winning every game they play.
There's just no way to tell with those two teams, but it would be surprising if the Cowboys don't start stringing wins together.
So unless Andy Reid can swing a trade for Charlie Batch and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers defense, I don't see the Eagles being able to survive very long without their starting quarterback the way their cross-state rivals have been able to do.
Cross your fingers and hope for the best on Vick's MRI, or try to remember the way you felt back in 2005. Or, if the worst happens and Vick is forced to miss most of the season, prepare to have terrible flashbacks to how you felt in 1998.