Eagles head trainer Rick Burkholder met the media yesterday to give an update on Michael Vick's concussion and the news was not very good. Vick is still in the early stages of recovery and at this point, not even cleared for exercise.
"Right now, he currently has symptoms," Burkholder explained. "He's had symptoms all week since the game. He's had a headache, which has gotten better during the week. He's foggy. He's not very alert right now in terms of he just doesn't have that energy. He's tired all the time, he's slept a lot, and he's not getting rid of that fatigue. I would consider him heavy eyed. When I talk to him, he's just not the Michael Vick that I know when he's healthy."
It's actually a very scary assessment and one that certainly does not bode well for Vick's prospects to play any time soon.
"Right now, it's not in Michael's best interests, the league's best interests, or our best interests. It's not even close for him to play this week," Burkholder said.
What this means for Vick's career or beyond this year is really unclear though. As Burkholder explained, it may not even matter beyond this week. That's the unpredictable nature of concussions.
"We've had guys that have come out of phase one (where Vick is now) immediately, and have been stuck in phase two. I have had guys who have gotten to phase three, and then two weeks later, they couldn't get out of phase three. There is no way to determine that. We come back here Monday and he could be fine, and then I can progress him through the next couple of phases. You just don't know, and that's why you don't judge or speculate with the coaches when he'll return. It's not fair to him and it's not fair to them."
One of the concerning things about this particular concussion is that it didn't even appear to come as the result of a big hit. Ernie Sims had rushed Vick, but pulled up after the ball was thrown. Vick seemed to fall over more than anything and Sims actually seemed more to be trying to keep him up. Burkholder said teams are still learning about what causes these concussions.
"I think one of the things that we're learning about concussions is that not all hard hits are causing concussions and not all hits that you hit the ground, you hit somebody, or it's helmet to helmet or not helmet - it's all different. That's a hard thing to pinpoint. Certainly, I went back and watched everything that he got hit in this game and everything that he got hit in the New Orleans game. I've looked at his other hits, and that's hard to put together. As healthcare professionals, when we start to do that we tread on dangerous water. There has to be a lot more research out there. The NFL is trying very hard to determine that but it's not out there yet."