Michael Vick: Is Philly Playing Star QB Too Soon Against Giants?

Bob BajekAnalyst IIISeptember 23, 2011

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 18: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Michael Vick suffered a concussion during a 35-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.

Vick has been cleared to play against the New York Giants, but could the Eagles be jeopardizing their season by putting an injured No. 7 against the Giants too soon?

According to Philly.com, Vick got cleared to play Sunday.

It may be true he was approved by doctors and medical staff to suit up and play, but concussions are serious injuries.

A concussion is the medical term for a brain bruise, where the head suffers a traumatic blow resulting in the brain having internal bleeding. Even a "mild" concussion is not a mild injury.

All levels of football—high school, college and the NFL—are trying to take concussions more seriously.

Twenty-eight states now have concussion laws where a high school athlete needs to be cleared by a medical professional to play if he or she has concussion-like symptoms. It is estimated that 43,000 to 67,000 prep football players will have a concussion each year.

On Sept. 16, former Eastern Illinois player Adrian Arrington sued the NCAA for not protecting student-athletes properly. Arrington sustained numerous concussions during his playing career, and although he is only 25, he has suffered seizures and nearly daily migraines.

In the NFL, kickoffs are now at the 35-yard line to reduce the risk of high collisions on special teams and requires an athlete to pass a neurological test to be cleared to play. The league is concerned after the deaths of former NFL players, including Dave Duerson and Justin Strzelczyk.

The NFL has some difficulty with enforcing player safety because its players are proud and competitive professionals who love the game and want to appear tough.

Vick wants to play because he is a team leader and believes he will make a difference against New York. However, another severe hit to his head and he could miss weeks of football, and Vince Young and Mike Kafka are huge drop-offs to Vick's playmaking abilities. 

To be fair, Kafka played well in place of Vick Sunday, going 7-for-9 for 72 yards. Kafka almost led the Eagles to victory, but wide receiver Jeremy Maclin dropped a fourth-down pass to kill Philly's last chance.

Even though Vick is medically cleared, having another week to recover could be vital time to fully regain his health and prevent a long-term injury. With Vick's aggressive playing style (he had cracks ribs in 2010 and missed three games), he needs to be 100 percent to be fully affective.

The Giants are riddled with defensive injuries to their secondary and star defensive end Osi Umenyiora, and they have a subpar linebacker corps. Kafka, with top receivers in Maclin and DeSean Jackson, could take advantage of New York's weakened defense.

What are your thoughts about Vick starting this Sunday? Feel free to write your opinions.

Bob Bajek is a freelance reporter and can be followed at Patch.com and Twitter.