All of the athletic ability in the world won't protect Michael Vick from taking a beating.
Michael Vick is at risk to get his bell rung every time his porous offensive line allows a gang of defenders through without impeding their path. He is too vulnerable to cheap shots every time Andy Reid calls for a quarterback sneak on short-yardage situations. And he exposes himself every time he tries to make something out of a broken-down play.
Yet, none of that stops a 215-pound quarterback who is one month removed from a concussion and a sore neck and jaw.
Maybe Vick sometimes crosses the fine line between bravery and stupidity when he decides not to slide. And one can argue one his primary responsibilities to the team is to stay healthy considering Mike Kafka and Vince Young seem less than capable.
Vick listens to all of it and displays his bravado each week as defenders try knock him out of the game.
NFL players take a pounding each week and few shy away from the contact. Sure, there are some Prima Donna cornerbacks and receivers who would rather toss a shoulder into a player instead of wrapping him up or tossing out the alligator arms in fear of having their head knocked off. For the most part though everyone assumes the same risk as Vick.
The thing that separates Vick from the rest is the frequency in which he gets the snot knocked out of him and the fact he knows it's coming.
It's hard to say if Vick is in the same class as Anquan Boldin or Ronnie Lott.
Boldin took this hit from New York Jets defensive back Eric Smith, underwent surgery to repair a fractured sinus membrane, which required seven plates and 40 screws and somehow only missed two games according to NYTimes.com.
And Lott, of course, chopped off a part of his finger to keep playing. Check out the true story here.
Maybe Vick is right up there though.
Sunday against the Redskins Vick lay on the ground motionless after a helmet-to-helmet blow from LaRon Landry. Causing some, such Will Carrol of SI.com to wonder if Vick played with a concussion after only missing one series.
At some point though, a hit like that is going to land Vick on the injury list regardless of his ability to make defenders look like a fawn on ice.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!