PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Sliding and running out of bounds isn’t Michael Vick’s style – until now maybe.
After missing three games with a rib cartilage injury, Vick said he needs to “play smarter” when he scrambles out of the pocket.
Vick completed his first full practice Monday since getting hurt on Oct. 3, and expects to start for the Philadelphia Eagles when they host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.
“I definitely have to be smarter when running with the football, trying to get down,” Vick said. “If not, who knows? There’s no telling what I’m going to do. I can’t predetermine what I’m going to do. I just have to play smarter and be conscious of what’s going on out there and try and protect myself.”
Vick was injured on one of his typical daring dashes at the end of the first quarter against the Redskins. He dodged and darted through the defense, eluding several tackles along the way to a 23-yard run to the 1 that was negated by a penalty. He took two hard hits, getting sandwiched between Kareem Moore and DeAngelo Hall.
Vick was limited in practice before Philadelphia’s bye. He was cleared to go after the week off and said he “felt great” on Monday.
“I’ll wear extra padding,” he said. “I’m confident I can take a hit. I can’t play the game worried about getting hit or not being able to play the way I like to play.”
Vick began the season as a backup, but took over as the starter because he played exceptionally well in 2 1/2 games after Kevin Kolb sustained a concussion in Week 1.
Vick nearly led the Eagles to a comeback win against Green Bay in the opener. He then guided them to a pair of road wins and was the NFC offensive player of the month in September. He threw for 799 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions, and compiled a passer rating of 108.8 with a 61.5 completion percentage. He also ran for 187 yards and one score.
Despite missing two seasons and playing sparingly last year, the 30-year-old Vick looked better in that span than he did when he went to three Pro Bowls in six seasons with Atlanta.
He’s ready to build on that success now that he’s healthy again.
“The bye week helped out tremendously,” Vick said. “A full week to get rehab and get myself in the flow of throwing the football and moving around outside.”
The Eagles (4-3) blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost 37-19 at Tennessee on Oct. 24. They’ll be well rested for the Colts, who are 4-2 going into Monday night’s game against Houston.
Vick may have Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson back this week. Jackson practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion against Atlanta on Oct. 17. Jackson said he was “a little bit limited” in practice, and would be a “game-time decision.”