The Philadelphia Eagles have taken new measures to protect Michael Vick’s oft-injured ribs.
The team’s franchise quarterback will be under center for the team’s Sept. 9 regular season opener at Cleveland, only this time sporting a unique Kevlar flak jacket/vest that will cover up more of his torso than the one he was wearing when he took a helmet to the ribs in the Eagles’ second exhibition game at New England.
“I really can’t explain what goes into this type of material,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News on Tuesday. “I’m just trying something different – that’s all I can tell you.”
NFL quarterbacks have been wearing flak jackets for roughly 30 years to better protect the ribs they expose while passing the football.
Some in the past have proven too bulky and restrictive, while some quarterbacks have just found wearing them at all to be annoying.
But Vick, who says he’s still sore from the shot he received from Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham that knocked him out of his second preseason game in as many weeks, says he doesn’t foresee any problems.
“It’s Kevlar,” he said, adding that his current one is a much lighter version of the one he first tried. “I’m looking forward to it … to give me 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.
“You can barely feel them, the way we get them fitted.”
X-Rays taken at Gillette Stadium last weekend showed no broken bones or fractured cartilage, as were the MRI and CT scan he underwent on Tuesday. Vick, instead, bruised his ribs and the soft tissue surrounding it. He also needed X-Rays on his thumb, which were also negative.
The 32-year-old four-time Pro Bowler has completed just one full season (2006) over his 11-year NFL career, leading some to question whether he will have to alter his style of play to stay healthy. Rib injuries have sidelined him for three games in each of the past two seasons.
Philadelphia, which is expected to be a strong NFC contender this year, hosts the Jets on Thursday to wrap up the preseason.