ATLANTA -- The town was ready for Michael Vick to return as a starting quarterback, as a Pro Bowl player once again. Vendors hawked Vick jerseys -- No. 7 in both Atlanta colors and in Eagles colors -- in anticipation of his arrival. The Georgia Dome was jumping.
Vick, however, did not leave a conquering hero. He left town aching after suffering a concussion late in the third quarter when, after releasing a pass that was completed to Jeremy Maclin for 9 yards, he was slammed and twisted and his head knocking into Eagles left tackle Todd Herremans.
After being helped off the field, Vick was taken to the bench area as second-year man Mike Kafka took over the offense. A few minutes later, Vick was escorted to the locker room as the crowd half-cheered and half-booed -- Vick pointed to the scoreboard on his way out -- and was gone for the game with a concussion.
The Eagles don't yet know whether Vick will play Sunday against the Gianta. After the 35-31 loss to Atlanta, head coach Andy Reid said Vick was "OK now" but would not commit more information until further tests are made.
With Vince Young still uncertain because of a hamstring injury -- he was inactive on Sunday night -- the Eagles' quarterback situation is extremely precarious.
"Nobody wants to see their quarterback go out," said defensive end Jason Babin. "It's part of the game. You have to pick up and win it."
The Eagles didn't win it. They blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and fell to 1-1. And as the NFC East Division play begins Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field against the Giants, the Eagles are in an urgent place.
Vick was good at times, great in spurts and careless in a few instances against Atlanta. He lost two fumbles and tossed an interception. One of the fumbles came on a first-and-goal play from the Atlanta 4-yard line when Vick was hit in the back by defensive tackle Peria Jerry as Vick attempted to hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy. The Eagles led 10-7 at the time and the play swung momentum greatly as the Falcons returned the ball deep into Eagles territory and then scored a touchdown to take the lead.
Later in the half, Vick fumbled as he scrambled, but the Eagles defense help with a takeaway of its own. On the team's first offensive possession of the second half, Vick threw an interception that Atlanta turned into seven points and a 21-10 advantage.
But Vick also completed 19 of 28 passes for 242 yards and a pair of scores. He ran 6 times for 25 yards. And at the time of his injury, the Eagles had re-captured the lead.
That all crumbled in the fourth quarter as Vick spent his time in the athletic training room receiving treatment, his immediate future unknow. He did not speak to the media after the game, so we won't know until later Monday or even beyond that whether Vick is good to go against New York.