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Michael Vick Injury: Eagles and Vick Can't Take Any Chances with QB's Health

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Michael DixonAnalyst IIIOctober 1, 2011

Michael Vick is going to play on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. We determined that early in the week, and nothing has changed to indicate that he won't play.

But as great as Vick is, they can't take any chances with their star quarterback.

For all intents and purposes, this is a must-win game for the Eagles. They are 1-2 with a divisional loss and in a division with three 2-1 teams. If they lose to the 49ers, the Eagles will be fighting an uphill battle in their own division.

That certainly doesn't bode well for their chances at making the Super Bowl. Even early in the year, a 1-3 start is a significant hole to bury yourself in.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not crazy about the Eagles playing Vick. If a player has left two consecutive games early due to injury, they should be extremely cautious about playing that player. I know the injuries were unrelated, but it still suggests an amount of fragility that you don't want to see in football.

But if I am Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, I'm going to be calling a lot of plays that don't put Vick at risk; that means a lot of runs and a lot of short passes.

Even if Vick's not running a lot, he's still going to be treated differently than pocket passers. Referees see him as a running back just as much as they see him as a quarterback.

More importantly, defenses do too.

If Vick has the ball in hand, opposing defensive players are going to attack him. They know that giving Vick an inch is a potentially huge problem.

So the Eagles need to keep the ball out of his hands, and they really can't give the defenders a chance to hit him.

The Eagles' only chance at making a run in the playoffs is if Vick is the quarterback.

The more hits he takes though, the less likely that is to happen.


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