NFL notebook

Eagles unsure if Vick will play

With nothing to gain, QB may get rest for injured leg

Michael Vick limped off the field and in the locker room after a quad contusion Tuesday. Michael Vick limped off the field and in the locker room after a quad contusion Tuesday. (Tim Shaffer/Reuters)
Associated Press / December 30, 2010

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Michael Vick may get a game day off after all — only because of injury instead of earning a bye.

A day after the NFC East champion Eagles squandered their chance at a postseason bye, it became clear that Vick may have taken his last snap until the playoffs.

His severe leg bruise might be enough to keep him out of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cowboys. Vick limped around the field and the locker room after he sustained a quad contusion on the first play of the Eagles’ 24-14 loss to the Vikings Tuesday night.

Eagles coach Andy Reid hasn’t decided if Vick’s injury will keep the quarterback out the game. All signs point toward yes.

The Eagles don’t need their daring and dashing QB to play Sunday. They are locked into the NFC’s No. 3 seed and will host the No. 6 seed Jan. 8 or 9. Their final game is meaningless in the standings, so it’s likely Vick and most of the starters will rest.

The short Wednesday-to-Sunday break makes it even more unlikely that Vick will take any snaps.

Reid described Vick as feeling tight and sore yesterday, but the Eagles did not say which leg is hurt.

“I’m not even sure he can get back from what he’s got here with the quad,’’ Reid said.

Vick said after the game he tried to “tolerate’’ the injury and get through 60 grueling minutes.

With nothing at stake, Reid says he hasn’t decided how much the other starters will play, if at all.

“Some guys need the play time, some guys need the rest time,’’ he said. “So I have to look at who those guys are, and what situations I put them in.’’

Meanwhile, Fox analyst Tucker Carlson gave the harshest critique of Vick’s dogfighting past yet, saying he “should have been executed’’ for his dogfighting crimes.

Carlson was guest hosting for Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News Channel on Tuesday night when he made the remarks. He led a discussion about President Barack Obama commending the Eagles for giving Vick a second chance after his release from prison. Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring.

Carlson said: “Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did [it] in a heartless and cruel way.’’ He added, “I think personally he should have been executed for that.’’

Carlson called Vick “some creepy rich overpaid football player’’ and used his platform to take a dig at Obama.

“He went to jail for two years. I mean, whatever,’’ Carlson said. “I think the president should be quiet on this one.’’

Garrard out for finale Jaguars quarterback David Garrard will miss Sunday’s season finale at Houston because of a finger injury.

Garrard will have surgery on the middle finger of his right hand today. Trent Edwards is likely to start in Garrard’s place, essentially giving the former Bills starter an audition with Jacksonville.

Garrard injured his finger when he hit it on an opposing player’s helmet at Indianapolis Dec. 19. He threw a crucial interception late in that game, and threw two more picks in an overtime loss to the Redskins last Sunday. He also fumbled twice.

Garrard likely would miss a first-round playoff game if the Jaguars (8-7) make the postseason. Jacksonville needs to beat Houston and have Tennessee upset Indianapolis to win the AFC South.

Making that even more improbable, the Jaguars likely will be without star running back Maurice Jones-Drew. He missed his fourth consecutive practice yesterday because of an injured right knee that probably will need offseason surgery.

Favre will start if able Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said Brett Favre will start Sunday against the Lions if he can return in time from a concussion.

“We’d love to see him play,’’ Frazier said. “It’s really not a hard decision for me. Brett is a terrific player. We feel very comfortable when he’s on the field that we have a great chance to win, so you always want to put the guy out there who is going to give you the best chance to win.’’

Rookie Joe Webb said he isn’t worried about getting another start.

“I’m just playing my game and just having fun with it,’’ he said. “Whatever coach wants to do with me, that’s his decision. All I can do is play and perform to the best of my ability.’’

Webb credited Favre for giving him valuable advice on the sideline and seemed to have a grasp of the situation — that one of the sport’s all-time greats is on the verge of playing his last game.

“If he wants to play, he can play,’’ Webb said. “He’s Brett Favre.’’

Rare absence for Willis 49ers Pro Bowl inside linebacker Patrick Willis underwent a second surgical procedure this week on his broken right hand, and will miss a start for the first time in his four-year career in Sunday’s season finale against the Cardinals. The 25-year-old Willis played the last two games with a bulky cast on his hand. He has a team-leading 128 tackles with six sacks and two forced fumbles. Meanwhile, interim coach Jim Tomsula, promoted from defensive line coach when Mike Singletary was fired last Sunday night, has decided on Alex Smith as his quarterback for the finale. “Experience,’’ Tomsula said of his reasoning . . . The Buccaneers placed wide receiver Arrelious Benn on injured reserve. The rookie tore a ligament in his left knee during last Sunday’s victory over the Seahawks. The second-round draft pick started eight of 14 games, finishing with 25 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns . . . Lions center Dominic Raiola said the team has fined him $15,000 for his actions after last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins in Miami. Raiola was filmed responding to a fan with obscene words and a hand gesture as he walked off the field. Raiola, a team captain, was fined $7,500 by the Lions two years ago for inappropriate conduct directed toward fans during a loss at home . . . Giants leading receiver Hakeem Nicks is likely to miss the team’s regular-season finale against the Redskins because of a broken big toe on his left foot . . . The Vikings’ win over the Eagles Tuesday night, postponed from Sunday because of a blizzard, drew a 15.2 overnight rating and 24 share on NBC. The network said that tied for the fifth-highest rating for a “Sunday Night Football’’ game this season, and up 31 percent over last year’s Week 16 game, the Cowboys’ win over the Redskins.

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