Vick given permission not to be on sideline as Eagles' No. 3 QB

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick wasn't late, and he wasn't supposed to be on the Eagles' sideline Sunday.

That's what Eagles coach Andy Reid said after a 31-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in which Vick was the third quarterback. Vick has a rib cartilage injury that he sustained two weeks ago.

"I told the kid to be here are 12:15, and he showed up at 12:15," Reid said. The game kicked off at 1 p.m. "That's it, enjoy the win.

"We just kept him in the locker room, not near the field. Today, I just wanted him here. I wasn't going to let him get in the game and throw the ball. He was not getting hit (Sunday), The chances of him being in there were slim to none. He needed to be around here dressed and in the locker room."

When Vick wasn't in the stadium 90 minutes before kickoff, even as some of his teammates were working out on the field, it caused a stir. The Eagles said there was nothing amiss and that Vick had permission to show up late.

Vick practiced Friday for the first time since being hurt during a loss to the Washington Redskins. He began the season as the backup to Kevin Kolb, who lost his job after sustaining a concussion in Week 1 because Vick was sensational in his absence.

Kolb excelled against the Falcons, going 23-of-29 passing for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Reid was asked if such a performance might lead to Kolb leaping over Vick as the starter. However, the coach said Vick remains the No. 1 quarterback when he's healthy.

"This is a beautiful thing, sitting as a chubby coach in the National Football League and you have two good quarterbacks," Reid said with a smile. "I told you (Vick) is the starting quarterback before. Yeah, he is."

Cynics might suggest Reid didn't want Vick on the sideline in case Kolb struggled and the sellout crowd at Lincoln Financial Field began chanting for Vick. But Reid said using Vick wasn't even part of the game plan, with the exception of "a completely emergency deal."

"I already had wide receivers coached up if it was an extended period," Reid added about who would have gone behind center had Kolb and second-stringer Mike Kafka been injured against Atlanta.

Reid expects Vick to practice this week as the Eagles prepare to play the Tennessee Titans. The team has a bye the following week.

"We'll see how he does," Reid said. "He's already made long strides."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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