Vick on hamstring: 'It did pop again'
Michael Vick left Sunday's game against the Giants after four possessions. (AP)
Michael Vick made his first start in three weeks.
He didn't make it to halftime, though.
Vick, who had missed two straight starts with a hamstring pull he suffered Oct. 6 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, sat down after four possessions in Sunday’s game at the Linc against the Giants and the ball went to rookie Matt Barkley.
It’s the second time in both NFC games against the Giants that Vick left before the end of the first half.
Before Barkley entered, the Eagles were down 12-0 and had been outgained 203-27 by the Giants, who entered as the NFL’s 22nd-ranked offense and just got their first win Monday night against the Vikings.
Vick appeared to play very conservatively, doing most of his work from the pocket as the Eagles tried to get the ground game going with no success. But he was intercepted on his second pass and sacked on his third. By the end of the first quarter it was clear he wasn’t 100 percent.
He left in the second quarter having completed just 6 of 9 passes for 31 yards. The Eagles had gained just 27 yards when Barkley entered the game with 2:24 to go before halftime.
As Barkley entered the game for the second straight week, a disconsolate-looking Vick sat on the sideline with a towel over his head. With no other quarterback active except for emergency quarterback James Casey, a tight end, Vick stayed on the sideline.
Barkley took some first-team reps in practice during the week leading up to the game, with Vick’s status still in doubt and with backup Nick Foles still ailing from the concussion he sustained in his start last Sunday against Dallas.
Barkley, the fourth-round pick from USC, impressively marched the offense from its own 20-yard line to the Giants’ 2-yard line in about 70 seconds but was sacked by blitzing cornerback Terrell Thomas on 1st-and-goal at the 2 and fumbled. Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams recovered the ball at the 12.
Vick was a full participant in each practice last week and took first-team reps during 11-on-11 drills for the first time since leaving the field against the Giants on Oct. 6.
He kept telling reporters that he felt better and that he had made progress every day during his two-week stint on the sideline as Foles went 1-1 with a win over Tampa Bay and a loss to Dallas. But Vick also hadn’t ran at full speed throughout the process, although he had said Thursday that he would sprint 100 yards Friday to truly test his recovery.
Vick warmed up on the field before kickoff against the Giants and took the field with the starting offense, but from the start he seemed tentative and tried hard to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball quickly to negate the Giants' pass rush. He tried to hit Celek on the right side on third down of the opening drive but the pass landed in the hands of Giants safety Antrel Rolle.
On the next Eagles drive, Vick rolled to his left and took a big hit from the blitzing Rolle. Vick fumbled the ball and was fortunate to recover it as the Eagles lost 12 yards on the play.
With the Giants up 6-0, Vick and the offense came out for their third possession. Vick took another big hit, by defensive tackle Linval Joseph, on a second-down heave that resulted in an intentional grounding.
The Eagles punted again, and that’s when the coaches started to get Barkley ready for the game. Vick rode an exercise bike briefly while Barkley took warm-up throws as the Giants drove downfield and went up 9-0 on Josh Brown’s third field goal.
Vick came out for the next series, but had a 3rd-and-5 pass to Zach Ertz broken up. That would be his last throw of the game. As the Giants drove downfield again, going ahead 12-0 on another Brown field goal, Barkley took snaps on the sideline from center Jason Kelce as Vick took a seat on the bench.
The availability of Vick, 33, for next Sunday’s game against Oakland is in doubt. The same goes for Foles. It’s possible that Barkley will be making his first NFL start against the Raiders on the road.