Michael Vick was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the New York Giants with what was believed to be a broken right hand. Today, head coach, Andy Reid announced that Vick did not fracture it, but has indeed suffered a contusion causing swelling and sensitivity.
Although the extent of the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback’s injury was first uncertain, there is something that leaves no doubt in Michael Vick’s mind. That is the unfair treatment that Vick feels he receives from NFL refs. Vick believes that officials are not calling late hits on him the way they would with other quarterbacks around the league.
As further insult to injury, yesterday also made the second consecutive week, in which Vick was forced to observe the remainder of the game from the sidelines. Vick made his early exit against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter after sustaining a concussion.
WATCH NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF MICHAEL VICK:
In yesterday’s post-game press conference, a vocal Vick complained about the lack of penalty flags that are thrown in his favor. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated. The refs have got to do their jobs. Every time I throw the ball, I’m on the ground. I don’t know why I don’t get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does.” Vick even stated that during training camp he discussed this matter with the referees by suggesting they “take notice.”
Vick doesn’t feel these preseason talks made any impact as he constantly finds himself at the bottom of every player pile up. Although obviously wanting to protect his franchise player, Vick even has the full support from Andy Reid, who said, “It bothers me to be honest with you. I see the same thing you’re seeing. He’s still the quarterback and you can’t treat him like he’s a running back there. That’s not what the rules state.”
To further frustrate Vick, I’m sure he has looked through an updated version of the NFL rulebook and has come across one that forbids defenders from hitting quarterbacks below the knees.
A rule, which was implemented just three short years ago and unofficially named, “The Tom Brady Rule.” This regulation was implemented by the NFL after New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was taken out by the knee and lost for the season. San Diego Chargers’ defensive tackle, Antonio Garay felt the effects of this rule on September 19th, when the league fined him $15,000 for hitting Brady where he is not permitted. Brady was not injured on the play and was able to complete all four quarters of the game.
Some of the media and bloggers have called Vick “injury prone” because he’s played in all 16 regular season games only once in his nine year career. Perhaps the excessive late hits that he’s complaining about and that statistic are why there’s validity to Vick’s statement.
I give Vick credit for not finger pointing and pin pointing the likely reasons of why refs are more lenient and so slow to penalize opposing players for their “roughhouse” tactics when it comes to him. There’s probably envy over Vick getting a second chance to sign a $100 million NFL contract in his plot twist ridden career.
In 2004, Vick signed a 10-year $130 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons. This August, Vick received a six-year $100 million contract from the Eagles. Perhaps there’s still animosity from those, who haven’t forgiven Vick for his involvement in dogfighting, despite serving almost two years in federal prison for the crime. Maybe even Vick’s unique and exciting, style-of-play, making him elusive, mobile, and showcases his unparalleled athleticism angers some as well.
Whether there’s a target or a “bull’s eye” planted on the back of Vick’s jersey remains to be seen. It is in the best interest and at least worthy for league officials to review film and seriously “take notice” as Vick had advised them to do.
Although Sunday’s injury was downgraded from a break to a sprain, Vick stated, ”…At some point something catastrophic is going to happen.” Perhaps a late hit, “Michael Vick Rule” should be at least be reviewed and considered before something “catastrophic does happen.”