Earlier this year, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo broke a rib, left the game, returned to the game, and pulled out a come-from-behind victory in overtime, giving the 49ers their only loss of the year. After the game, reports surfaced that Romo suffered a punctured lung, too. Despite those injuries, Romo didn’t miss a game, thanks in part to some potent pain mediation.
Last week, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick broke a rib on the second play of the game (if we believe Eagles coach Andy Reid), never left the game, apparently didn’t suffer a punctured lung, but won’t be playing on Sunday night against the Giants.
So why won’t Vick be playing? The Eagles haven’t offered an explanation, and we don’t expect one.
That forces me to speculate as to the possible reasons. (Well, it doesn’t force me to. But I will anyway.)
First, it could be that the doctors fear that the rib will break off and puncture an organ.
Second, it could be that the pain is so intense that not even a shot to numb the area will make a difference.
Third, it could be that Vick simply can’t tolerate the pain.
Fourth, it could be that Vick doesn’t perform as well when he’s shot full of pain medication.
Fifth, it could be that coach Andy Reid didn’t want to put Vick at risk of further injury against a zealous and potent Giants’ defense.
Sixth, it could be that Reid senses there’s no way that the Eagles would win with an impaired Vick, so Reid is taking his chances with Vince Young.
Absent more information, there will be plenty of speculation that Vick simply isn’t as tough as Romo. I don’t believe that — but others surely do, based simply on the fact that Romo played with broken ribs, and Vick didn’t.