Making Sense Of the Vick Reports

There are multiple reports swirling around around about Michael Vick‘s ongoing recovery from a concussion sustained on November 11 against the Cowboys.

The first suggested that Vick’s symptoms are getting worse and that he could miss the rest of the season. The most recent says that the quarterback believes the Eagles are using his concussion to allow them to continue to start rookie Nick Foles, and has “complained of being the victim of politics.”

To the first report: Multiple sources close to Vick have strongly rejected the idea that the quarterback is getting worse. They say that he feels good, that he sounds strong and alert, and that any reports to the contrary are erroneous. It is understandable to see where the message might have gotten lost in translation, however.

Head trainer Rick Burkholder addressed the media Friday and acknowledged that Vick has “hit a plateau” and remains in Phase 4 of the Eagles concussion program.

“When you get into a phase and you do certain activity, sometimes they get symptoms,” said Burkholder. “Michael got symptoms in Phase 4…It all has to do with his eye movement, visual tracking and how that affects his balance centers. So what we’ve done is we have gone back and rehabbed those areas. We will test him again Monday and I have a feeling that he’ll do better because we have addressed the problem that he has.”

Burkholder explained that Vick has fatigue after doing eye-hand coordination elements of the rehab, but that it goes away. If you hear that Vick is experiencing symptoms but don’t have the context, it could lead you to believe that he is regressing.

As for the second report, a source close to Vick shot that down as well. The quarterback does not believe his return is being slow-played so Foles can continue to start. In fact, the general feeling is that the Eagles want Vick to play again this year if healthy to help the Eagles and Andy Reid finish with a couple wins. They want to stop the bleeding, first and foremost. Vick gives them the best chance at doing so.

The best educated guess here is news of the first report — stating that Vick was going backwards — got floated to the signal-caller, and he reacted based off what he was told. But from what I understand, he doesn’t truly believe the Eagles are slow-playing this.

The notion doesn’t even make sense, if you think about it. Vick hasn’t passed the baseline test, pure and simple. Unless you’re willing to suggest that the test is being doctored — an action that would lead to serious consequences if proven true — then there is no further discussion.

“We don’t grade the impact test; he has not gotten back to baseline,” said Burkholder. “I send that paper from the computer off to the people in Pittsburgh, they come back and say, ‘He has not passed baseline.’ That is an NFL rule. That has nothing to with anything with us. He has to pass that before we can ever entertain the fact of him playing. I don’t know where that came from. There is no conspiracy theory.”

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