Eagles coach Andy Reid hotly denied an ESPN report that concussed quarterback Michael Vick "thinks he's a victim of politics" amid repeated failures to pass baseline testing that would allow Vick to return to the field.
Reid said he has spoken with Vick and there is no disagreement over the handling of his treatment. The Eagles have started rookie Nick Foles in the two games since Vick went down, and at 3-8, it's plausible that they might want to stick with Foles.
Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said the imPACT test Vick is struggling to pass is graded by league concussion experts in Pittsburgh, not by the Eagles. "There's no conspiracy," Burkholder said.
Vick later released a statement through a spokesman:
"I want to thank my fans for the thousands of well-wishes. I also appreciate the support of the entire Eagles organization. I feel strong and healthy. As a professional athlete, I want to play in every game, but the NFL has a specific protocol to protect players. My focus is to complete this process successfully, so I can rejoin my team on the field."
Burkholder said Vick has reached a plateau in his recovery. He can run without symptoms, but complicated eye-tracking triggers balance problems and fatigue. Eye-tracking is part of the test Vick must pass. Burkholder said the team has been approaching this as something that can be rehabbed, and he hopes Vick can pass the imPACT test Monday.
Burkholder said running back LeSean McCoy is in the second of the five recovery phases, able to undertake light exercise. "His symptoms are down to almost nothing," Burkholder said. "His major complaint is fatigue."
Burkholder said that unlike Vick, McCoy has passed the imPACT test, but can't be cleared while he's still experiencing symptoms.
Obviously, Vick and McCoy will not play Sunday at Dallas.
The Eagles elevated their 2012 sixth-round WR, Marvin McNutt, to the active roster. They still have one open space as they enter the weekend.
Center Dallas Reynolds (ankle) was a full practice participant. Though Reynolds is listed as questionable for Sunday, one would have to think he is going to play. That would move Evan Mathis back to left guard.
Still in Mississippi after a death in the family was defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Andy Reid said Cox will join the team in Dallas. He also is listed as questionable, with a tailbone bruise, but is expected to play.