Eagles’ Vick says ‘100 percent chance’ he’ll start

Posted: September 28, 2011

Michael Vick said that there is a "100 percent chance" that he will start Sunday despite a deep bone bruise in his right hand.

Eagles coach Andy Reid was slightly less optimistic, but the fact that Vick said he took all the snaps with the first team at practice on Wednesday was a sure sign that he would be at quarterback against the 49ers in three days.

"I'm playing this week, regardless," Vick said before practice at the NovaCare Complex. "Even if it was broke I think I would have probably padded it up and went back out there. You got to take precaution, but this is what I love to do."

Vick said he wore a glove with a pad insert during practice. At the beginning of practice he worked out with the other quarterbacks, holding the football at times with his right hand and making all the customary throws.

A few days earlier, Reid - who revealed the injury was a bruise and not a break as originally diagnosed - said the swelling had to go down enough so that Vick could grip the football. After practice, Vick showed reporters the back of his hand where the swelling had gone down. There's a tattoo of the Superman emblem there.

"It stands for a lot now," Vick said of the tattoo. "It's time to show and prove."

Injuries have been Vick's Kryptonite through the early part of this season. He suffered a concussion in the third quarter against Atlanta on Sept. 18 and had to leave the game. And then a week later vs. the New York Giants, a Chris Canty hit injured Vick's hand and eventually knocked him out of the game.

Vick said "they'll have to cart me off the field" for him to come out this Sunday.

"I'm tired of letting my guys down," he said.

The Eagles are off to a disappointing 1-2 start. There are many reasons for the slow start, but Vick's injuries haven't helped matters, especially considering the Eagles were leading both times he was forced from the game.

Vick also has been inconsistent. He has five turnovers, something he said he needs to limit. Asked if he could be playing better, Vick said: "Absolutely."

"I look at the St. Louis game - played well," Vick said. "I looked at the Atlanta game - I played well, just got knocked out of the game. And then last week I felt there was some things I could have done better."

He looked tentative against the Giants, especially early, when he threw a few ill-timed passes. Just before the half he needed tight end Brent Celek to grab him and remind him to get off the field before the Eagles attempted a field goal as the clocked ticked down. Some had wondered whether he was still experiencing symptoms from the concussion.

"I didn't think he did," Reid said. "I mean, he ran right off, right away, he had a scramble. . . . He was as sharp as ever, so I didn't see anything."

The biggest component that seems to be missing from the offense is the big play. The Eagles' Mr. Big Play - DeSean Jackson - has been invisible the last two games. The wide receiver has just four catches for 51 yards during that span. Targeted 14 times in the opener - when he caught six passes for 102 yards and a touchdown - Jackson has been targeted only nine times the last two games.

"That's about me getting the ball to DeSean and putting him in the right situations," Vick said. "He'll get the ball. He'll make that work."

Jackson, who is still in search of a new contract, wasn't interested in talking about his lack of catches after practice. Vick said the home run hasn't been there because opposing defenses are placing their centerfielder right in front of the fence.

"People are playing so far downfield you can't even see the free safety no more," Vick said.

In the slight chance that Vick can't go Sunday, Reid will have both of his backups to choose from. Vince Young, who did not dress the first two games because of a hamstring strain, is 100 percent healthy, the coach said.

Young was active Sunday, but Reid chose to go with Mike Kafka. The second-year quarterback threw two interceptions after showing poise the week before in relief of Vick.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com, or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.


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