|The company that makes the flak jacket guarantees that Vick 'will not get hurt.' (US Presswire)|
Much has been made of Michael Vick's preseason, primarily because there hasn't been much of one. Against the Steelers, he headed for the sidelines after banging the thumb of his throwing hand off center Jason Kelce's helmet. Ten days later, he was again forced from the game, this time after absorbing a shot to the ribs from Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham. Despite taking just 12 snaps in two games, coach Andy Reid wisely decided to let Vick spend the rest of August recovering so the team's $100 million investment would be ready for the season opener against Cleveland on September 9.
And when Vick does take the field again he'll be sporting a Kevlar flak jacket similar to the one he's worn in the past, but bigger -- and apparently, better.
"I guarantee he will not get hurt," Rob Vito, CEO of Unequal Technologies, told ESPN.com's Darren Rovell Wednesday.
Those are big words given that the quarterback in question plays the game like a fullback sans the 50 pounds of padding. Either way, Vick, who admits to still being sore but feeling "a lot better," welcomes the chance to wear the vest.
"I really can't explain what goes into the type of material," he said according to the Philadelphia Daily News earlier this week. "I'm just trying something different -- that's all I can tell you ... It's Kevlar. I'm looking forward to it ... to give me more protection and just to see what comes out of it. It's going to be custom fitted and fitted to protect all across my sternum, across my ribs. I think it'll be a better fit."
The size of the jacket also raises concerns about limiting Vick's range of motion. But Vito tells Rovell that advances in technology allow for the material to protect Vick while not affecting his mobility. If so, great. But if the flak jacket is as good as advertised, why did Vick have to leave the Pats game with bruised ribs? Turns out, despite his endorsement deal with the company he wasn't wearing the vest during the game.
If history is any guide, it's reasonable to conclude that Vick will suffer an injury at some point this season. That's the reality based on his style of play. The good news is that the Eagles appear to have found his backup (and perhaps eventual replacement): rookie third-rounder Nick Foles who, at least for the week, is the No. 2 quarterback.
In the meantime, Vick should heed the words of Barack Obama and slide more.
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