The Philadelphia Eagles announced that an MRI and a CT scan taken Tuesday on quarterback Michael Vick "revealed no broken bones and no fractured cartilage. It was determined that he has a contusion of his ribs and of the soft tissue surrounding it." This after Vick had to leave Monday night's preseason game in New England after taking a hard hit and have X-rays. And all of this a little more than a week after he left the team's first preseason game to have X-rays on his thumb.
It's fairly obvious that the Eagles should not let Vick anywhere near the field for their final two preseason games. The news of today's tests indicates that he'll be able to return in time for their regular-season opener, which is in Cleveland on Sept. 9. But they'd be wise to keep him in bubble wrap until then if possible. These days, it seems, when Vick is on the field, he's one step away from an X-ray machine.
What happens in Week 1 and beyond? Well, that's the risk the Eagles have no choice but to take. Every hit Vick absorbs this year, every time it takes him an extra second to get up off the ground, is going to be cause for panic. This has been the story of the Eagles' preseason -- the realization that everything about their year rides on Vick and they have no choice but to be perpetually worried about his health. As long as he's on the field, they can be one of the very best teams in the league. And because of that, they'll run him out there as long as he's in one piece. Should he somehow make it through the season without getting hurt again, the Eagles will be capable of big things. There's no quarterback in the league who can do the things on the field that Vick is able to do when he's right.
But at this point, Week 1 will dawn with Vick as the Eagles' biggest question mark for this season. He and they are under pressure to do everything they can to keep him healthy and on the field. It's a story that will follow them all year, and the extent to which they succeed will determine how far their team can go in 2012.