PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick was under center, and Brian Westbrook lined up in the backfield. Brent Celek took his spot at tight end.

In Vick's ideal scenario, he'd be taking snaps with the Philadelphia Eagles' first-team offense in a regular-season game, not just a routine preseason practice.

Yet that's all it was. Vick ran the scout-team offense Tuesday, calling plays for Westbrook and other starters who are injured or recovering from injury and not ready to play in Thursday's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Matt Slocum / Associated Press
Michael Vick, shown here practicing Sunday, is taking it slow in his return to football with the Eagles.

"Best scout team ever," Celek said.

In October and beyond, Vick could be taking snaps with the starters in a game that counts.

"I don't necessarily know where he's going to fit in as a player, where he's going to fit in this offense," Westbrook said.

The Eagles aren't in a two-minute drill to find out.

It has been all about normalcy in Vick's first week of practice with the Eagles -- no special looks, no Wildcat packages, just a fourth-string quarterback watching and learning. And he's not traveling with the team to Indianapolis because he can't play in the game.

Vick, who hasn't commented since Friday's press conference introducing him as an Eagle, can only play in the last two preseason games, starting with a home matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 27.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by no later than Week 6 (Oct. 18-19).

Vick isn't receiving any special treatment in practice. He takes his reps at quarterback behind Donovan McNabb, A.J. Feeley and undrafted rookie Adam DiMichele. McNabb's backup, Kevin Kolb, is out with a knee injury.

"He looks good to me," Celek said of Vick. "He throws the ball real well and can read the defense."

Reid has insisted that Kolb will be the No. 2, but only two quarterbacks are normally active. Once Vick is eligible for a regular-season game, Reid could activate him at the expense of a player at another position, likely a special-teamer. Reid also could make Kolb the No. 3 QB.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do there," Reid said. "Something will happen."

More crucial to Philadelphia's success this season than Vick is a healthy Westbrook. The two-time 1,000-yard rusher has felt good in his first few practices since he had ankle surgery.

Westbrook had surgery to remove scar tissue and bone fragments from his right ankle in June. He initially hurt the ankle last season during a Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Westbrook also had his left knee cleaned out shortly after the Eagles lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game last January. He experienced pain in the ankle while rehabilitating the knee.

Reid has increased Westbrook's workload in each of his last three practices. The versatile running back might sit out the entire preseason and take his first snap in the Eagles' Sept. 13 season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

"I think I'm right on time, right where I want to be at," Westbrook said. "I wouldn't mind getting in a game a little bit, but I don't think not having any preseason games would hurt me as far as the regular season."

There should be plenty of leg room on the team's flight to Indy. Defensive end Trent Cole (shoulder), cornerback Sheldon Brown (ribs), guard Todd Herremans (foot), defensive end Darren Howard (groin), tackle Jason Peters (quad), tackle Shawn Andrews (back) and guard Stacy Andrews (knee) all are staying behind because of injuries. So are Westbrook, Vick, and three others.

Shawn Andrews had his back examined in Los Angeles on Monday, and no structural damage was found. Reid was unsure when Andrews would practice.

Reid said starters will play the first half against the Colts.

The fans will be watching -- so will Vick and several teammates.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

NFL News
CONTENT
15