Vick says he'll start and finish vs. 49ers

Michael Vick practices yesterday wearing a glove on his right hand.
Michael Vick practices yesterday wearing a glove on his right hand. (CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: September 29, 2011

MICHAEL VICK tried to peel the black glove off his right hand following yesterday's practice. It seemed to have been shrink-wrapped to his wrist.

"I think it swelled up a little," Vick said, before applying his teeth to the task. Eventually, Vick wriggled free, as he has so many times from tacklers. Then Vick reiterated that a little swelling from a bruised nonthrowing hand won't keep him out of Sunday's home game against the 49ers. In fact, Vick vowed to finish that game, and all the other remaining games, unless mortally wounded, or something very close to it.

"No problems at all" during practice, Vick said. "A little soreness . . . It's only Wednesday, so I should feel a lot better by Sunday."

He said the glove will be reinforced with padding by game time; right now, it is just the normal stretch glove he wears on his right hand for practice and games.

Obviously, Vick is very aware that he has left the last two games early, with the concussion against the Falcons, and the hand, initially thought to be broken, against the Giants.

"I'm not coming out of the game this week, regardless," Vick said. "You'll have to cart me off the next 13 weeks - the only way I'm coming out of the game."

Earlier, before practice, Vick said there was a "100 percent chance that I'll be out on the field this week." He also said: "It's frustrating, not being able to complete a football game, not being able to be out there with your team in times of need. I heard Tony Romo [who took an injection in his ribs to lead the Cowboys past the Redskins Monday night] say there's 16 days where you're required for this job. Those are the days that you want to be out there."

Vick seemed to feel he had let his teammates down.

"I just want to be there for my teammates and hold myself accountable for my responsibilities, and what I have to do as a quarterback," Vick said. "Regardless of what I have to go through, I just want to be there."

The Eagles, who blew fourth-quarter leads after Vick left both times, certainly hope to keep him upright and unbloodied for a change.

"I'll just try not to get hit," Vick joked.

Someone asked right tackle Todd Herremans about the focus on the offensive line, with Vick complaining Sunday about how often he ends up on the turf. Vick has been sacked four times in three games, which is not excessive, but of course, all hits aren't sacks.

"The quarterback gets hit, the o-line is going to take criticism, one way or the other," Herremans said. "It doesn't really matter what I think . . . he's getting hit too much. We've got to get together as a team and solve it some way."

Herremans said not only is it a problem when Vick can't finish games, it's also disruptive when injuries keep him out of practice or limited in practice.

"It's just all stuff that gets in the way of us developing as a squad," Herremans said. "Point the fingers at whoever, but as an offense, the other 10 of us who are out there need to do what we can to either keep the hits off of him or get open, so he can get the ball off."

Eagles coach Andy Reid said that in order to play, Vick will have to show "that you can control the football." He said taking the snap from under center will be tougher than the shotgun.

Vick touted the hyperbaric chamber he has at home, which supposedly helps blood flow to injured areas, though medical opinion is mixed on that.

"Probably the best investment I've made in a long time," Vick said. "That's the reason I've been able to make the progress I've been able to make over the last 2 days."

Vick has fumbled seven times this season, losing three. Some were snap problems, most were hits where he wasn't protecting the ball well. Obviously, a bad hand elevates those concerns against a 49ers defense that ranks seventh in the NFL after 3 weeks.

"I was thinking in my meeting today, 'the most important thing this week is going to be to protect the ball,' " Vick said. "The good thing is, I don't run with the ball in my right hand . . . Even if I have two hands that aren't 100 percent, I still can't turn the ball over."

Wideout Jason Avant said he has played with a broken hand, but "he's a quarterback; he touches the ball every play. Me, I can block a person with one hand, catch it with my fingertips - it's way different from a quarterback."

Avant said he hadn't seen the New York Post cover with Vick's face imposed over a baby's body, with the headline reading "Whine and Cheese Steak," referring to Vick's complaints after Sunday's game. Vick had seen it, he said.

"My kids were killing me about that," Vick said. "That was a good one. I guess when you sit on the podium and you make excuses like that, then you're going to be labeled a crybaby, so maybe I did deserve it."

Vick again disavowed his Sunday comments.

"Once again, I want to apologize for what I said. I think I was more frustrated because I got hit late and I hurt my hand on that play," Vick said, referring to the hit for which New York's Chris Canty was not penalized. Most observers concluded the hit was either not late at all or slightly late, at worst, and involved some contact to Vick's helmet and face mask, though that was not the primary impact. "I couldn't finish the game because of that, so that was one of the reasons I was frustrated and acted out of character, but still said some things I wanted to get off my chest. I apologize, and that won't be a concern for me. I have to go out and play football, and the officials just have to do their job. It's something I want to move on from.

"I don't want any special attention. The only thing I want to do is go out and play my game. If the refs feel like there's a need to make a call, they can make it. If not, then I won't say anything about it."


For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LesBowen.

 

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