Vick’s comeback hits a speed bump

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - In the U.S.A., they love comeback stories and they love winners. They also love twists and turns.

So there is nothing surprising in these parts for the near-sainthood status that is being achieved by Michael Vick, the reformed quarterback who by circumstance and luck has received a second life in the NFL and is running with it.

Vick's feel-good comeback yarn, though, hit a speed bump Sunday at the end of the first quarter in the much-hyped game between the Eagles and Redskins that featured the return of Donovan McNabb when Vick suffered a rib and chest injury on the final play of the opening quarter.

X-Rays taken of his ribs showed no fracture but they were sore enough to keep him from returning to the game. He'll undergo an MRI Monday to determine the exact nature of his injury.

While he was in, Vick was good on five of seven passes for 49 yards and rushed for another 17. Whether or not he can suit up next week for San Francisco on the west coast is a question mark.

It adds another chapter to the never-ending story that is the Vick soap opera/story of redemption.

In the battle of public opinion, Vick has all but KO'd his demonized past -- his disgusting involvement in a dog-fighting ring and subsequent stint in prison becoming less an issue with each passing day. He has done his time and has apparently seen the light and for the locals that, along with winning football games, is enough to cleanse his past sins.

On Sunday morning, the NFL Network featured an interview between Vick and Jim Mora, his former coach when the two were with the Atlanta Falcons.

Among the more pertinent questions was when Mora asked Vick if he had been conning him all the time.

"I think about it a lot, coach," Vick replied. "I was selfish in some aspects. I didn't dedicate myself. I didn't listen. Ya'll was only trying to help me in so many ways. And I was just young. I can't blame myself for that, neither. I can't put 100% of the blame on me being young because I was 25, 26 years old then. So you're old enough to make rational decisions for yourself. You're a grown man.

"My life has just changed drastically. When I sat in prison in Leavenworth, I was thinking: 'How do I want to live my life moving forward? How do I want to change things? What can I do better this time around if granted a second chance?'

"I just tried to educate myself on what I would do moving forward and how important the future is going to be to me leaving my legacy and how much I would appreciate life this time around."

Then his second chance became reality when McNabb was traded to Washington, Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion in the season opener and Vick was anointed as the Eagles' No. 1 quarterback.

"I was just like, man, this is an opportunity of a lifetime and now I've got to lead by example and go out and lead the team and do what's right and take on that role," he told Mora. "I've been down that road before and just thought about the past and what I didn't do and what I could do better moving forward."

It's poetic stuff indeed and there is nothing to suggest by his recent deeds and actions that have been well chronicled that he is attempting to pull a second con job now. A weight, a huge one, has seemingly been lifted from his shoulders.

"I've faced all the pressure and adversity in my life," Vick said. "No more pressure. This is the fun part."

There are those, of course, who will never buy into Vick, who will never trust a man who engaged in such brutal and barbaric acts.

Those individuals, though, are in the minority and certainly weren't in attendance at Lincoln Financial Field; weren't on their feet and cheering when he ran on to the field.

Then came the hit, the injured ribs and more doubt.

In Philadelphia, redemption is proving to be risky business.

mike.rutsey@sunmedia.ca


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