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Vick eligible to play in 3rd week

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    ESPN.com news services
    September 3, 2009

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday afternoon that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will be eligible to play in the third week of the regular season.

    Goodell and Vick had met Thursday morning for 45 to 50 minutes in New Jersey to discuss when Vick might be reinstated. After that, Goodell said, he consulted with Vick's mentor, former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, for another 45 minutes.

    "Hopefully we can have a success story here, which would be good for society in general," Goodell said. "He's realistic about the challenges ahead. And anxious to play football."

    The Eagles play the New York Jets in their final preseason game Thursday night at the Meadowlands. Eagles coach Andy Reid said backup Kevin Kolb will start the game, and Vick would get in during the first half, as well as start the second half.

    Vick was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months of a 23-month prison sentence for his role in running a dogfighting ring in Virginia. Previously, Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by no later than Week 6

    During their meeting Thursday, the topic of Vick's past experiences and why he got involved in dogfighting came up. One of Vick's representatives was explaining it, when Vick stepped in and took responsibility. "He was genuinely remorseful," Goodell said.

    Goodell said he did discuss with Vick the report that he was seen drinking an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant at the hotel where he was staying. Goodell said it was not a violation of his probation.

    "It highlights the tremendous microscope this man is under," Goodell said. "He understands he has little margin for error. It served as a useful lesson."

    A three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick was a surprise signing by the Eagles on Aug. 13. He received a one-year deal for $1.6 million, with a team option for a second year at $5.2 million.

    Vick started practicing with the Eagles on Aug. 15, but did not travel with the team to its second preseason game a week later in Indianapolis because he could not play.

    He played six snaps in Philadelphia's game against Jacksonville last week, lining up at quarterback and receiver. He completed all four of his pass attempts, but the Eagles' offense scored just three points in the possessions he played.

    The Eagles were heavily criticized by animal rights activists for signing Vick, and dozens of protesters voiced their outrage outside the team's practice facility the day after he signed.

    But the explosive debate that consumed the city upon Vick's arrival played out on a much smaller and subdued scale when Vick made his Eagles debut at Lincoln Financial Field.

    An animal welfare event was held across town, and the local NAACP's planned march outside the stadium to support Vick did not materialize, although about a dozen members set up a table with banners supporting him.

    Local animal rights activists have opted not to protest the player, but to use Vick's arrival in Philadelphia to spotlight their work and have asked the Eagles to support them.

    The team has been receptive, inviting several groups to a meeting at their practice facility a few days before Vick played to discuss ways to help, including the possibility of financial support.


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