The Philadelphia Eagles have two weeks to get Michael Vick ready for real action. Yet Eagles fans like myself were reassured a little when he returned to practice, as offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he was 'real close to 100 percent.' If he is that close two weeks before the Sept. 9 season opener against the Cleveland Browns, he should logically be completely, 100 percent healthy by game time. The problem is whether that will really be enough or not.
A 100 percent healthy Vick is better than one at less than full strength. Yet even if he is fully healed when he comes back, will that be enough for him or the Eagles? After all, if injuries won't be a problem by Sept. 9, rust and his regular deficiencies could be.
Vick only got to take 12 snaps in two preseason games, so all the practice of the next two weeks won't be enough to balance that out. He may have been healthy enough to play in those warm-up games, but he wasn't healthy enough to survive even a quarter - let alone the full 60 minutes he has to survive week in and week out now.
Even if Vick can play full games that count, the next challenge is to actually play them well. If he turns the ball over, keeps getting hit and can't run up points with all his weapons, it won't matter that he got through it injury free. And with Nick Foles making a name for himself in the preseason, how much leeway will Vick get before fans call for Foles to fill in - even if Vick is still healthy?
A 100 percent healthy Vick has never been able to take a team to the Super Bowl. If he doesn't come close to doing that this season and he can't use injuries as an excuse, then that could be the last straw for him in Philadelphia. This is a make-or-break year for him, Andy Reid and the Eagles franchise, so it is not just enough for Vick to survive more games than expected - he has to win them as well.
Just because Vick is more capable of winning at full strength doesn't mean that he will win. As such, while it is reassuring that he is all right now and should be okay in two weeks, how will it look when the real action starts?
Regardless, the Eagles won't be given much of a real shot if Vick misses serious time. But if he still can't give them big results even when completely healed, then he and Philadelphia will have a lot more wrong with them than just injury problems.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
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