To start his Monday press conference, Eagles coach Andy Reid announced out of the blue that quarterback Mike Vick suffered broken ribs during Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
Specifically, Reid said the injury occurred on the team’s second play from scrimmage.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy recently told WIP that he believed the injury happened late in the game. Shown the second play, which entailed Vick taking a hit that didn’t look particularly nasty after throwing a pass to tight end Brent Celek, McCoy chuckled and said that Vick wasn’t hurt on the play.
Indeed, Vick was fine the rest of the drive, moving laterally and vertically and never missing a beat. He also showed none of the body language of a guy with broken ribs, which is an always-painful condition, especially right after it happens.
There’s even a question as to whether Vick truly has broken ribs. Per a league source, Vick wasn’t privately complaining about the kind of pain that broken ribs typically will cause after the game ended.
Besides, why would Reid lead a Monday press conference with this disclosure? Teams have no obligation to say anything about injuries until Wednesday of each week, at the earliest. Typically, a coach will talk about injuries on a Monday if it’s already known that the player is injured, or if it’s known that an otherwise publicly unknown injury is bad enough to definitely cause the player to miss time.
The situation invites speculation that Reid is using the broken-ribs-on-the-second-play explanation in order to provide an excuse for Vick’s generally mediocre-to-below-average performance against the Cardinals. Under this theory/hypothesis/whatever, the offensive struggles had everything to do with Vick fighting through an injury and nothing to do with the absence of receiver DeSean Jackson, whom Reid chose to deactivate and whose vertical speed forces the safeties to play deep, opening up the running lanes and all underneath passing routes for the Eagles’ attack.
The last time Vick broke ribs, he missed several games. If he doesn’t miss a beat this time around, it’s fair to wonder whether the rib injury is simply a smokescreen aimed at covering up the otherwise clear consequences of the decision to deactivate DeSean.