Leg injury puts Eagles QB Vick's status for Sunday in doubt

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick might have a game day off after all -- only because of injury instead of earning a bye.

One day after the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles squandered their chance at a postseason bye, it became clear that Vick might have taken his last snap until the playoffs.

The quarterback's severe leg bruise might be enough to keep him out of Sunday's regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Vick limped around the field and the locker room after he sustained a quad contusion on the first play of the Eagles' 24-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday night.

Eagles coach Andy Reid hasn't decided if Vick's injury will keep him out the game. But all signs point toward yes.

The Eagles don't need their daring, dashing signal-caller to play Sunday. They are locked into the NFC's No. 3 playoff seed and will host the No. 6 seed on Jan. 8 or 9. Their final game against the Cowboys is meaningless in the standings, so it's likely Vick and most of the starters will rest.

The short Wednesday-to-Sunday break makes it even more unlikely that Vick will take any snaps.

"He might be able to play Sunday, I don't know that for fact," Reid said Wednesday.

Reid described Vick as feeling tight and sore, but the Eagles didn't say which leg is hurt.

"I'm not even sure he can get back from what he's got here with the quad," Reid said.

Vick said after the game he tried to "tolerate" the injury and make it through 60 grueling minutes.

With nothing at stake in the regular-season finale, Reid said he hasn't decided how much the other starters will play, if at all.

"Some guys need the play time, some guys need the rest time," the coach said. "So I have to look at who those guys are, and what situations I put them in."

Vick, selected as the NFC Pro Bowl starter shortly before the game, mostly struggled after his 3-yard touchdown pass to Clay Harbor in the first quarter gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Vick lost two fumbles, threw an interception and was sacked six times.

Vick has been battered in recent games, and he looked gimpy, gingerly walking to the huddle and off the field most of the night.

"I tell by the way he runs, and it looked like he was running full speed," Reid said. "So he was able to get out of any danger, he just, when he walked, he kind of walked with a little bit of a gimp, but he sure moved well."

If Vick doesn't play, Kevin Kolb will start. Kolb was anointed the Eagles' No. 1 quarterback after serving as Donovan McNabb's backup for three seasons. Kolb suffered a concussion in Week 1, paving the way for Vick to take over -- and take off. He set career highs this season in yards passing (3,018), touchdowns passing (21) and touchdowns rushing (nine).

Kolb would be an able replacement -- he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in his first two career starts last year.

Kolb is on standby for the postseason as Vick's body keeps taking a pounding. Reid and teammates expressed concern earlier this month that other teams aren't being penalized for what they perceive to be illegal hits on Vick.

Vick was sacked six times by the Vikings and 34 times overall in his first full season since 2006. Plus, he missed three games with a rib cartilage injury.

Even with the bumps and bruises, Vick is playing better now than he did back in his days with the Atlanta Falcons, when he went to three Pro Bowls.

Vick might not want to trade his helmet for a stocking cap, but he said Tuesday night he would abide by Reid's decision.

"I'm a competitor. I always want to play but, ultimately, it's Andy's decision," Vick said. "He'll make the best decision possible, and I'll go with whatever he asks me to do."

Vick isn't the only injured Eagle. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson had treatment for a sore foot, and cornerback Asante Samuel needed an MRI on a sore knee. Reid said there's a chance that middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, out with a dislocated elbow, could return for the playoffs.

The Eagles didn't practice Wednesday, and Vick wasn't available to the media. He posted on Twitter, "Understanding failure helps you appreciate success!"

The Eagles (10-5) could have secured a bye with victories over the Vikings on Tuesday and the Cowboys on Sunday, coupled with a loss by either the Chicago Bears or Atlanta Falcons this weekend. But the week off went bust, and now the Eagles must win three playoff games to reach the Super Bowl -- and surely will need a healthy Vick to make it there.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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