Eagles' Vick played with 2 broken ribs vs Arizona

Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick lies on the field after an injury in the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

November 14, 2011 3:44:37 PM PST
Michael Vick made no excuses for an awful performance, taking the blame for missing open receivers and throwing poor passes.

Perhaps two broken ribs had something to do with it.

Vick broke his two lower ribs on the second play of the Eagles' 21-17 loss to Arizona on Sunday. He didn't tell anyone that he was hurt and played through the pain.

"He didn't say anything, not a word. He's a tough nut," coach Andy Reid said Monday. "He said he really just blanked it out and played is kind of what he said, and really didn't think twice about it."

Vick's status for the next game at the New York Giants (6-3) is uncertain. He missed three games last year with a rib cartilage injury.

The defending NFC East champion Eagles (3-6) are going nowhere in a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations. They have now lost five games in which they led in the fourth quarter.

Vick was injured after taking a hard hit from linebacker Daryl Washington on a 13-yard completion to Brent Celek on Philadelphia's opening drive. He was slow to get up, but stayed in. He later sat out one play after taking another hard shot on a scramble in the fourth quarter.

Vick was 16 of 34 for 128 yards and two interceptions. He threw two other interceptions that didn't count. One was negated by a penalty and another overturned on replay. Vick also misfired on several attempts, including overthrowing a wide-open Celek on what could've been a 66-yard TD catch.

"I'd probably say that (the injury) had something to do with it," Reid said.

Vick has hardly resembled the guy who was an MVP candidate and Pro Bowl starter last season. He's already thrown 11 interceptions in nine games. He had six picks all of last season.

"I was inaccurate and never really got comfortable," Vick said after the game. "I'm very hard on myself and that just can't happen. You have to find ways to get it done. I didn't do it and I just have to figure out a way to get it done next time we're in the situation."

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and offensive lineman King Dunlap (concussion) also were injured in the loss to the Cardinals. Reid said Rodgers-Cromartie will "struggle" to return this week.

With Vick off target and the Eagles still nursing a lead, the offense inexplicably continued to throw instead of turning to LeSean McCoy, the NFC's leading rusher. McCoy got the ball just twice after a 29-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 81 yards on just 14 carries.

"In this case, in this game here, we felt like we could throw the ball against their defense because obviously we wanted to put up points," Reid said. "In hindsight, maybe we could have given him the ball more."

Reid also defended defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who has come under heavy criticism in his first year at a new position after coaching the offensive line for several years. Asked if Castillo will continue to make the defensive calls, Reid said: "Yes."

Jackson speaks to Reid, teammates after benching

Banished from the stadium, DeSean Jackson had to watch his team's latest loss on television.

Considering how poorly the Eagles played, that was a harsh punishment.

The Pro Bowl receiver spoke to coach Andy Reid and his teammates, and is ready to move forward after being deactivated Sunday because he missed a meeting.

"Everyone knows the situation, knows the case," Jackson said Monday. "As a professional and as a man, you just really have to handle things. I can admit to some things that I've done, that I need to better, which I think everybody at a period of time in their life figures out what it is."

Jackson didn't attend a special teams meeting Saturday morning and was told to stay home the next day. The Eagles lost to Arizona 21-17 to fall to 3-6 in a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations.

Jackson didn't deny that he purposely skipped the meeting to make a statement because he's upset about his contract situation. He's in the final year of his rookie contract and made it clear he wants a new deal when he held out 11 days in training camp.

"Everybody knows the contract situation," Jackson said. "As a human being, there are things you have to go through in life. I realize what it is. I'm just ready to just continue and just go forward. I'm not thinking about nothing else that happened. Whatever I did in the past, it's over. It's done. I know what I need to do and I'm going to make it happen."

Jackson hasn't been productive this season. He has only 29 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 57 receptions, 1,041 yards and six TDs his first three seasons to go along with three TDs rushing and four on punt returns.

But Jackson's presence opens things up for others on the offense. It was obvious how much the Eagles missed him against the Cardinals. Michael Vick had his worst passing game since becoming Philadelphia's starter and the offense had a season-low 289 total yards.

"Well I think any time a team sees that you don't have one of your best players on the field, they can change their strategy and their game plan in an instant," Vick said. "They're smart professional players and good ones at that, so they were able to make adjustments and made it tough for us."

Jackson said he respected Reid's decision and doesn't have any hard feelings. Reid said the situation is behind them.

"I've always had a good relationship with DeSean," he said. "I've done this with other players so we can't forget that part. I've done this two or three times with other players where I've sat them down, so it's just one of those things that happens. And I will tell you that, myself included, nobody is bigger than the football team and so, if you're wrong in a spot, then you have consequences, too. And that's how it works."

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