Michael Vick to beef up his protection

So the injury news is good on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. He was back on the practice field Sunday night and looking good, by all accounts. I'm sure the Eagles will hold him out of their final preseason game this week, because they're not stupid, and it appears the thumb injury from the first preseason game and the rib injury from the second won't be enough to keep him out of the Sept. 9 regular-season opener in Cleveland.

The goal, of course, is to finish that game and play Week 2 against the Ravens, and on and on like that if at all possible. And to that end, Tim McManus writes, Vick is trying out a thicker rib protector than the one he's used in the past. Same company makes it (he's got an endorsement deal with them, you know), but this kevlar deal is a bit stronger:

After suffering bruised ribs against the Patriots, Vick says that he will continue to wear the Kevlar padding from Unequal Technologies. He's just getting more of it.

"It's going to be a little thicker. I got fitted the other day and I look forward to wearing those," said Vick. The quarterback anticipates having the new gear by the opener.

The NFL has no guidelines as to what brands of flak jackets, or rib protectors, are to be worn under a player's uniform. Vick has been apparently using Unequal’s padding since suffering a rib cartilage injury against the Redskins in 2010.

Hey, whatever works. It's clear that Vick and the Eagles aren't able to do anything about the shots Vick takes or the extent to which they affect him. So the next-best plan is to protect him better against the damage potentially caused by said shots.

The Eagles' season, as we have discussed here many times, rests on Vick's ability to stay on the field. When he's playing, they are a potentially great team. If he has to miss time and someone like Mike Kafka or rookie Nick Foles has to play, it's hard to see them contending in the tough NFC and a division with the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Vick's protection is a running 2012 story of which you can expect to hear much more. It really won't stop being a story until either he gets injured or until he completes the season without a major injury. The latter is the goal, and it should be the Eagles' top priority.