Now Vick really is on Panthers' radar

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Ah, now we know why John Fox was so careful to make sure he didn't say there was no way Michael Vick would ever play for the Carolina Panthers.

The coach didn't want to provide any bulletin-board material for Vick or the Philadelphia Eagles by slighting the quarterback, or whatever he's going to be. The Panthers open the regular season hosting Philadelphia, and that could be Vick's first game in green and white.

Believe it or not, Fox actually thinks about things like that, even though he never considered pursuing Vick. Now, Fox will have to think even more about Vick for the next few weeks.

Fox's defenses didn't have a lot of success against Vick when he was playing for the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles obviously are sticking with Donovan McNabb as their starting quarterback, but Fox and the Panthers will have to be prepared for whatever role Vick might play.

They're not alone. The rest of the NFC South has to face the Eagles this year. New Orleans travels to Philadelphia the second week of the season and Tampa Bay goes there Oct. 11.

But the most interesting date of all might be Dec. 6. That's when the Eagles go to Atlanta. Right now, the game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. But that's a game that's subject to the flex schedule. Anybody think Vick might end up playing against the Falcons in a more visible time slot?