Throughout the week of preparation leading up to Sunday's meeting with the New York Giants, Michael Vick's left hamstring drew a large amount of attention around the NovaCare Complex.
After missing two games, Vick and the Eagles coaching staff said that Friday would be a big test to see how healthy that hamstring was. Everything appeared to go well, as Vick was listed as probable on the team's injury report. As it turned out, the game itself ended up being the ultimate test for Vick, and unfortunately for the Eagles quarterback, his hamstring did not pass the test. After re-aggravating the injury late in the first quarter, Vick Was later pulled out in the second quarter of the Eagles' 15-7 loss to the Giants.
According to Vick, he felt another "pop" in his hamstring after a 1-yard scamper as he ran out of bounds towards the Giants bench. He would stay in the game for one more possession before Chip Kelly decided to end the quarterback's afternoon.
"As soon as it happened, I knew exactly what the feeling was and how my body would react to it," Vick said after the game. "I wanted to keep going. I was going to stay out there, but Coach (Kelly) didn't want to put the team in a bad situation and he didn't want to put me in bad situation. It was hurting.
"I would have stayed out there but I probably wouldn't have been as effective. At some point, we all would have realized that I wasn't 100 percent, so I think it was the best thing to do."
It was certainly a disappointing afternoon for Vick after all signs during the week pointed to him being healthy enough to play. Vick was listed as a full participant for practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. He believed that everything had lined up properly for his return.
"I felt good going in," said Vick. "I felt like I did everything that I was supposed to do to reassure myself that I could go out and play, but there's nothing like actually being in the moment and having to move and having to react. When I did that, that's when I pulled it again. I felt it pop … I felt the same feeling that I felt the first time. I don't think it's as bad, but it did pop again."
Not only did Vick's efforts throughout the week of practice reassure his own faith in his ability to play, but they also did the same for Kelly, who made sure to stay in constant communication with Vick throughout the week.
"I think you have to listen to him," said Kelly. "Watching him in practice, I didn't see any ill effects. None of our coaching staff or doctors saw that. He moved around pretty good - moving in the pocket, running around doing those things. He said he felt good. Obviously, I listen to him. I'm not going to put him out there if he said he didn't feel good. That would have really changed the decision, but he said he felt good."
After Nick Foles suffered a concussion in last week's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Vick attempted to do everything that he could to make his return to the lineup and provide some stability to the quarterback position, but there was no way to simulate how his hamstring would react to a game situation.
"Once Nick got hurt last week, I made up my mind that I was going to try to get out, that I was going to rehab as hard as I could all week and try to put myself in position where I can get back behind the center and help our team win," Vick said. "I tested it plenty of times but there's nothing like game simulation, when guys are coming at you and going to hit you. I just reacted the same way I would have if I was 100 percent healthy."
Vick has been no stranger to injuries throughout his NFL career, but hamstring issues are not something that he's very familiar with. As he and the rest of his teammates move forward after another divisional loss, No.7's hamstring will once again be placed under a watchful eye.
"I just had an unfortunate hamstring injury," Vick said. "It happens in football. I hurt my groin twice in the first two games and I was still able to play. It's just that this one was at a different magnitude. I can't question what happened … I never had a hamstring injury this bad so I really don't know what to tell you. … I'll get an MRI tomorrow and just see what it looks like compared to what it was two weeks ago and then pretty much go from there."
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