Quarterback Michael Vick is one of six Eagles who will not practice because of his rib injury on Wednesday as the team prepares for its third preseason game on Friday night against the Cleveland Browns.
Head coach Andy Reid said that Vick "most likely won't play" against the Browns, but there is no doubt that Vick will be available for the season opener on September 9 against the very same Browns team. Rookie Nick Foles will start Friday if Vick does not play. The starters are expected to play the first quarter, but Reid said that Foles could play the entire first half.
Vick suffered the injury in the first quarter of Monday night's win over New England when he took a shot to the midsection from Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham. Vick exited the game and was taken to the locker room for X-rays which showed no broken bones. Additional tests Monday confirmed that as well as showed no fracture of the rib cartilage.
"It was a pretty good shot he took," Reid said.
While it's not the ideal situation, Reid is fine with Vick starting the regular season despite just playing in four series during the preseason. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 11 yards.
It bears noting that the preseason has not been very kind to Vick in the past either. In 2010, Vick completed 57 percent of his pass attempts for 189 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions and five sacks for a 38.3 passer rating. He also lost a fumble. Vick went on to win the starting job and earn Pro Bowl and Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Last season, Vick completed 52.8 percent of his pass attempts for 219 yards with one touchdown against three interceptions for a 46.0 passer rating. Once again, he also lost a fumble.
It's a fair question to ask whether Vick, who suffered a thumb injury in the preseason opener vs. the Steelers, can remain healthy for an entire 16-game schedule. Reid quipped that a player has to "catch a break," realizing the pun he was using, in order to stay healthy the entire season. Reid was pleased to see Vick slide to avoid contact on a scramble against the Patriots. Reid knows that this is a violent game and the team doesn't want to take away from what makes Vick one of the game's top quarterbacks - his ability to run and fearlessness on the field.
The other Eagles who will not practice Wednesday are defensive end Jason Babin (calf), wide receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone), quarterback Mike Kafka (hand), linebacker Casey Matthews (ankle) and safety Tom Nelson (ankle).
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