These days, when the plane's wheels hit the ground and you can turn your cell phone back on, the first thing I do is check Twitter. So imagine my surprise when we touched down at noon Central time at DFW and Twitter informed me that Michael Vick's hand isn't broken after all, that the Philadelphia Eagles had misread the X-ray, that Vick's non-throwing hand was merely bruised and that he might even play Sunday against the 49ers.
I had a few questions, which I will share with you whether you like it or not:
1. How long was I on this plane? I mean, it's not unusual for US Airways to take far too long to get one from place to place, but today's flight from Philadelphia to Dallas (what am I doing in all these baseball towns, right?) was a tidy three hours, actually getting in early. It was hard to imagine that Vick's right hand, which he and the team had told us just about 20 hours earlier was broken, had healed in that amount of time.
2. How do you misread an X-ray that badly? Several people have actually been kind enough to email and tweet to let me know that this is not uncommon -- that a blood vessel on top of the injured part of the hand could look like a fracture on the X-rays, and that's why they do the CT scan, to follow up and make sure. This morning's CT scan showed good news for Vick, and now the Eagles say they need to get the swelling down and figure out if it's an injury with which he can play.
3. Couldn't Vick have stayed in the game, then? I mean, it was his non-throwing hand, and we now know it was not broken. So one of my first questions was whether Vick could have toughed it out and kept playing. However, he was clearly in pain, and he said his hand swelled up badly during the Giants' offensive possession that followed his final play of the game, and his team doctors were telling him his hand was broken. He said he didn't feel comfortable taking snaps with the swollen hand, so at that point it probably made sense for him not to go back into the game and risk fumbling because his hand wasn't working correctly. So I'll give him a pass on that one. But it does kind of lead to this next, final and most important question:
4. Does Vick really even want to rush back and play Sunday? He made it back for Week 3's game after a Week 2 concussion only to get knocked around again. And he sounded like a beaten man after Sunday's game, when he claimed that he's been getting hit too much and opposing defenses aren't getting penalized enough for hitting him. While I'm sure the competitor in Vick would love to get back out on the field Sunday and have a huge game to help shake off the disappointments of the past couple of weeks, there's got to be a part of him that wouldn't mind sitting out until everything feels a little bit better. The head, the hand, whatever else hurts after he's spent the past three Sundays picking himself up off the ground after passes complete and incomplete. I don't know whether he'll play Sunday. Based on what came out this morning, I'd guess he probably will. But I stand by what I wrote Sunday -- that it might not be the end of the world for the Eagles if Vick needs and/or gets a week off to let himself heal and let things cool down a little bit around the Eagles, whose season so far has been consumed by their quarterback.