It has been exactly two months since Michael Vick(notes) signed with the Eagles, creating a stir that shook the boredom out of the preseason. Breathlessly, we all pondered what would happen next.
Vick had four carries for 10 yards against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
(Eric Hartline/US Presswire)
Would Vick, in a Wildcat-type role, emerge as a potent weapon in an already prolific offense? Would he push Donovan McNabb(notes) and, if the veteran were to struggle, supplant him as the Eagles' franchise quarterback? Would animal-rights activists turn Sundays at Lincoln Financial Field into a made-for-CNN circus?
We now know the answer to all of these questions was a resounding, "No," and I'm wondering how this notorious and polarizing player turned out to be such an afterthought.
In his prime, Vick was exceptionally elusive. Eerie as it now sounds, Brett Favre(notes) once told me that "if you put him in a six-by-six cell with 11 guys, it'd take them an hour to touch him." But even when he was serving a 20-month prison sentence stemming from his participation in a federal dogfighting conspiracy, I never thought the man would become invisible.
I know plenty of people still detest Vick for what he did, but if there are protesters at his games or outside the Eagles' training facility, I haven't heard about them. And in his cameo appearances in the two games since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lifted his suspension, Vick hasn't done anything to cause a commotion, either.
It's now clear that the odds of Vick starting a game for the Eagles are roughly equivalent to those of coach Andy Reid being named Mr. Universe. McNabb has played brilliantly in his two starts, reaffirming his status as The Man. During the two games McNabb missed with a fractured rib, third-year backup Kevin Kolb(notes) repositioned himself as Philly's quarterback of the future, throwing for more than 300 yards in each of his first two career starts, something no NFL passer had ever accomplished.
So that makes two quarterbacks who Reid would definitely start over Vick, and I'd be willing to bet there's a third, Jeff Garcia(notes), who isn't even currently on the Eagles' roster.
It's starting to look like the Eagles' signing of Vick was essentially a courtesy to a fallen star, a chance to let him transition back into the league and break a slight sweat on Sundays without figuring in anything important.
The Eagles are probably good enough to afford that luxury. I'm not so sure how good Vick is anymore, or whether he'll ever get another chance to be an NFL starter. Those are questions that, barring a dramatic change of events, will be answered in another city in another season.
In the meantime, here are 32 queries to keep you busy in anticipation of Sunday's showdown at the Superdome between the top two teams in our unassailably riveting rankings:
20. Houston Texans: How determined was Andre Johnson(notes) on that tying touchdown against the Cardinals – and, in retrospect, shouldn't his number have been called on the fourth-and-goal play that decided the game?