Eagles can't be surprised about Vick's injuries

Posted: September 26, 2011

BRIT-TLE, adjective: easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail.

IN THE CASE of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, the question is how many of those definitions apply?

Vick probably isn't "fragile" or "frail."

It would've been impossible for him to have lasted this long in the NFL if he were "easily destroyed," especially with his hell-bent style of play.

Still, there is no denying that Vick has proved to be frequently damaged, but not easily.

There's no getting around that. The trail of evidence speaks for itself.

Vick gets hurt, a lot.

Yesterday, while Eagles fans were holding their breath that Vick would not get conked hard enough to bring back the concussion symptoms that knocked him out of last week's game, he ended up breaking his right hand in the Birds' 29-16 loss to the New York Giants.

In the big picture, it doesn't matter if Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty probably should have been flagged for a late hit when he popped Vick with about 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

What matters is that Vick put his right hand up in an effort to protect himself and Canty's helmet smashed into his hand, breaking it.

We should get a better indication today about how long Vick might be out of action after he has a CT scan.

"It's really an unfortunate situation," Vick said. "I felt like I get hit late. I was trying to protect myself. I broke my hand.

"It really don't matter where it was at. I was trying to protect myself. Still didn't get a flag and that's pretty much been the story for the last 3 weeks.

"If you look at the replays, I'm on the ground every time and it's unfortunate for me and it's unfortunate for my team.

"Obviously at some point something catastrophic was going to happen. I broke my hand."

There are a couple of issues in play here.

Vick is absolutely correct when he points out that he is not afforded the same protection from the officials that other quarterbacks in the league receive.

"I'm not going to go into a big dissertation about why I'm not getting the calls," Vick said. "I don't get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does, but I'm not going to complain about it. I'm just making everybody aware and hopefully somebody will take notice."

Guys, big guys with really large bodies and really quick feet, do take runs at him.

"I don't think teams play this game to try to hurt other guys," Vick said. "I think it's about stopping your opposition, not hurting them."

Still, if you get hit over and over, it's a countdown until some part of your body eventually gives.

But all of Vick's many injuries have not been the result of borderline hits.

The NFL is a high-collision sport and injuries are going to happen, but does Vick get more than his fair share?

If so, how come?

His concussion against the Atlanta Falcons last week was the result of an awkward sequence that resulted in him smashing his head into Eagles offensive tackle Todd Herremans.

The rib cartilage injury that cost Vick 3 1/2 games last season happened while he was trying to dive into the end zone and got sandwiched between two tacklers.

During his 6 years with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick played a full 16 games in a season just once.

The guy has been hurt, dinged up or injured a lot.

The Eagles backup quarterback situation was such a debate coming into this season because it was accepted that at some point Vick was going to miss games because of injury.

He has been knocked out of the last two games and may now be on the shelf for a while.

This is the home the Eagles built for themselves when they invested the franchise's immediate future in Vick. Everyone was well aware of Vick's tendency to end up in a heap on the sideline. They went in that direction anyway.

Now the Eagles (1-2) are reeling after consecutive losses and have no idea when Vick might be available again.

"I think everybody is kind of worried about it," wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. "We just have to be able to keep him healthy. He's our guy, our franchise quarterback."

The Eagles are not a legitimate Super Bowl contender without Vick.

"I don't know," Vick said when asked if he will be able to play on Sunday against San Francisco. "I don't know if I'm going to be able to play next week.

"I don't know anything right now except that my hand is broken. We have to figure out what is the next move."

Brit-tle, adjective: unstable or impermanent; evanescent; Michael Vick.

The Eagles cannot say they are surprised to be in this situation.


Send email to

smallwj@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to

www.philly.com/Smallwood.

 

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