Michael Vick Injured: The Philadelphia Eagles Need to Step Up

Doug GausepohlCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2010

Michael Vick injured his rib cartilage on Sunday, forcing him out of action for 1-2 weeks.
Michael Vick injured his rib cartilage on Sunday, forcing him out of action for 1-2 weeks.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are currently sitting at 2-2, tied for first place in the NFC East, thanks in part to Michael Vick's stellar performance in the first three weeks of the season. 

For at least one game, they'll have to attempt to do it without him.

Vick suffered damaged rib cartilage during the Eagles 17-12 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.  He's already been deemed unfit to play in San Francisco this week, and it's quite possible he could miss his first game against his old team two weeks from now, when the Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted Vick first overall back in 2001.

The Eagles offense will most likely not have the same explosiveness they had in the first few weeks with Vick under center, and there are several names that will need to step up for the Eagles to be successful in his absence.


Kevin Kolb

He steps in, and now gets the chance to stir up the QB controversy debates once again.  Kolb was given the starting job out of training camp, but then lost it when he suffered a concussion in Week 1.  He did a decent job covering for Vick for the remainder of Sunday's game, completing 22 of 35 passes for 201 yards with a touchdown and an interception on the last play of the game. 

The 49ers are a mediocre defensive team, and Kolb wouldn't seem to have too much going against him.

But this isn't just any old game for the 49ers. 

San Francisco 0-4, and they are looking to save their Head Coach, Mike Singletary's job with a big win.  They'll be as hungry as ever, so this is nowhere near an easy game for the Eagles, especially on the road.

LeSean McCoy (if he plays)

If Kevin Kolb has a rough passing day, you can expect this man to get a lot of carries if he's able to play.  He's had a impressive season thus far, scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 273 yards, which currently ranks 13th in the NFL.  His biggest game of the season came against the Lions in Week 2, when he ran for 120 yards and scored three touchdowns. 

The Eagles will need him to have another explosive game if they want to win consistently if Kolb is struggling.

McCoy broke a rib on Sunday afternoon, and his status is currently uncertain.  If not, Kolb will have to find another running back to give the ball off to, or plan to take to the air, early and often.


DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin

Kolb's top receiving is DeSean Jackson.  He had big games in weeks 2 and 3, gaining a total of 288 receiving yards against the Lions and Jaguars.  The 49ers passing defense hasn't been great, so he should get plenty of chances to make big plays for the Eagles offense. 

Jeremy Maclin had a big game in Week 3 as well, scoring two touchdowns along with 83 yards receiving.  Keep in mind both of these guys had big games with Vick as their quarterback, so they'll need to adjust to Kolb's style in order play well on a consistent basis.

It appears as if Vick shouldn't be out too long.  Most reports are saying this week he'll most definitely miss this Sunday, and he's questionable for next Sunday.  If the Eagles are lucky, they get Vick back after two weeks and then have him fully healthy for the second half of the season. 

The NFC East is so tight, that those two weeks the Eagles don't have Vick might wind up being the difference.