Michael Vick declared himself "100 percent" as he prepares for his first start since the Week 4 loss to the Washington Redskins.
"I don't have any aches anywhere on my body, no pain, no soreness, no swelling," Vick told reporters Monday. "The bye week really did a wonder for me."
Vick, of course, sustained an injury to his rib cartilage in the first half of that loss to the Redskins when he scrambled from the pocket toward the end zone before getting sandwiched by DeAngelo Hall and Kareem Moore. Subsequently, Vick missed three games and, combined with the bye week, had a month without playing in a game. Having now seen the consequences of taking big hits from defenders, Vick vows that he'll be a little more careful moving forward.
"The way I feel, I feel like I can go out and take a shot if I have to," Vick said. "But at the same time, I have to go out there and play smart, not take the unnecessary hit ... I think in watching the last four or five games that I played, I took some unnecessary shots and I think it can be avoided.
"You'll definitely see me getting down, not taking unnecessary hits."
The hope for Vick, his teammates, the coaches and Eagles fans alike is that the dynamic quarterback can regain the form he showed in the early season when he earned the NFC Offensive Player of the Month award in September. With three starts under his belt, Vick amassed 799 yards passing, six touchdowns and no interceptions for a 108.8 quarterback rating to go along with his 187 rushing yards on 26 carries (7.2 yards per carry). That 108.8 quarterback rating would lead the league if Vick had enough attempts to qualify.
"I feel like I did some good things and I'm confident in myself, I'm confident in this offense and, more than anything, confident in the players around me," Vick said. "I trust them."
This week, Vick will have a chance to re-establish himself as a top-tier quarterback against one of the game's best, Peyton Manning. Manning's 101.4 quarterback rating is currently second in the league.
"I'm going up against the best quarterback in the game, if you ask me," Vick said. "I watched him the other night against the Houston Texans and just the unbelievable job he did. Orchestrating the offense, getting guys lined up, calling the plays. Like I said, this is what it's all about. You have to play against the best and want to be the best. So it's going to be a great matchup, very intriguing."
And with an extra week to prepare, Vick has done plenty of homework on the opponent.
"The Colts have a tremendous pass rush," Vick said. "You've got (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis on the outside, probably two of the best ends in the game. Those guys have more takeaways since 2003 than any tandem at the defensive end position. It's definitely going to be a challenge and that's what this league is all about."
It will certainly be a bell-weather game for the Eagles as they look to remain above .500 and near the top of the NFC East. While the Colts are coming into Sunday on a short week after their Monday Night Football game, the Eagles have had a chance to get healthy. On offense, Vick and left tackle Jason Peters will be back in the lineup and the hope is that Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson will also be there. Following his concussion in Week 6, Jackson has been cleared and is practicing fully Wednesday for the first time since the scary hit he took from Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson.
"You always look forward to have all your weapons out on the field. It would be great to have DeSean back and he's looking like he's 100 percent and ready to go," Vick said. "If DeSean does come back and plays, I expect him to do great things, do what he's capable of doing within a football game."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:16 p.m., November 3