Might not see Michael Vick for a while

Philadelphia Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder offered an update today on the condition of quarterback Michael Vick, who will miss this week's game due to a concussion, and it was not very encouraging.

Burkholder, whose work in this particular area helped form the basis for the NFL's concussion-recovery protocol, used the terms "foggy," "not very alert," and "heavy-eyed" to describe Vick and said he's "not even close" to returning. Rookie Nick Foles will start at quarterback in Vick's place Sunday against the Washington Redskins, and it sounds as though the Eagles will need Foles to start more than just this one game. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Vick underwent impact testing on Friday, but was below the baseline, Burkholder said. He will be tested again on Monday. Burkholder said that he would normally give a concussed player a three or four-phased exercise challenge, but that Vick wasn't ready.

"He has too many symptoms for us to even exercise him," Burkholder said.

Even after he passes the testing and exercise challenge, Vick must see an independent neurologist and then the team doctor before he's cleared to return to practice.

"We're early on in the process," Burkholder said. "We're still in what I would consider Phase I. ... Right now it's not in Michael's best interest, in the league's best interest, in our best interest, it's not even close to him playing this week."

Obviously, this sounds like a very serious situation, and the issue of whether Vick or Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to win football games takes a back seat until such time as Vick is healthy enough for the Eagles to consider putting him back on the field. With concussions, there's no guarantee that such a time is imminent, and obviously you have to consider Vick out indefinitely at this point. Those who have suggested that Foles play the rest of the Eagles' games and Vick sit out the remainder of the season may find that the Eagles have no other choice.