Quarterback Michael Vick is expected to run through another batter of tests Thursday morning, after which the Philadelphia Eagles should make a determination on his availability for Sunday's game with the New York Giants.
So far, all indications are that Vick seems recovered from a mild concussion last weekend. If so, he almost surely would return to the starting lineup. But that, of course, is dependent on Thursday's results.
"If Michael Vick can play he will play," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
That about sums it up. Vick went through a walk-through Wednesday with the first-team offense but sat out the afternoon practice. From all indications, he seemed fine throughout the day, with no lingering symptoms from his concussion.
He was injured last Sunday when he was tackled into offensive lineman Todd Herremans after Vick threw a pass.
The Eagles head athletic trainer, Rick Burkholder, on Wednesday told reporters that Vick's symptoms consisted mostly of a sore neck and jaw and that his test results Tuesday were close to normal.
But nobody is taking chances here, with Vick scheduled to be examined again Thursday morning. If those tests are normal, he would return to practice.
On Wednesday, quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Vince Young took snaps, with Kafka practicing with the first team. Young'r return, however, is significiant. He has been sidelined by a sore hamstring and becomes the backup to Vick when healthy.
For the moment, though, there is still concern about the injured hamstring. That means Kafka is the next option, and he looked poised, confident and accurate in last weekend's loss to Atlanta. If Vick were not ready -- and most persons around the Eagles seem to think he will be -- Kafka is the likely starter.
Generally, quarterbacks who take snaps with the first-team on Wednesday, the day game plans are installed, are the starters that weekend. But this situation is different because of the uncertainty of Vick's situation. He seems improved, and he seems OK, but he does not return until completely cleared by physicians.
One more thing: For Vick to play Sunday he would have to have at least one day of practice. I've known clubs that would start injured quarterbacks who didn't work out the previous week, but the Eagles don't seem to subscribe to that philosophy. If Vick doesn't practice this week, he almost certainly doesn't play.