Eagles coach Andy Reid said Michael Vick will play in Thursday night's exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field. What the coach didn't say was more interesting.
Reid said the starters are scheduled to play the first three quarters and that Kevin Kolb would be the quarterback in the fourth quarter. He didn't say that Vick will play quarterback at all, which means his playing time could come exclusively in the Wildcat formation.
Asked if he'd have any problem showing the Wildcat formation in a preseason game, Reid said he would not. As for what the coach expects to see from Vick, he said he wasn't sure.
"I can only go off what I've seen in practice and it looks like he's been moving around pretty good," Reid said. "Again, it pretty much has been two years, so we'll see how it works out. We'll give him a couple shots in there and see what he can do."
Reid refused to say much about the New York Post story that said Vick had an alcoholic beverage at the Airport Marriott shortly after he joined the Eagles. Tony Dungy, a mentor to Vick, told SI.com that "Michael, you can't do that."
"You know how I am," Reid said. "I handle those things in house. He and I have talked and I'm not going to get into all that. We've talked."
More important returns
While Vick's return to the playing field for the first time since the final game of the 2006 regular season will get most of the attention Thursday night, it's far more important news for the Eagles that both running back Brian Westbrook and defensive end Trent Cole will play in their first preseason games against the Jags. Westbrook is returning ahead of schedule from ankle surgery and Cole is playing for the first time since suffering a shoulder sprain late in the Lehigh University portion of training camp.
"I'm used to playing preseason games and I want to get back out there with the guys," Cole said. "The games haven't been looking too good, but I'm ready to go out there and get into the game."
The Eagles will also have three-fifths of their projected starting offensive line on the field Thursday with center Jamaal Jackson, right guard Stacy Andrews and left tackle Jason Peters. Still missing will be right tackle Shawn Andrews, who did not take part in trainer Rick Burkholder's on-field rehab program today, and left guard Todd Herremans, who continues to recover from a left foot injury. Herremans remains in a walking boot, but said he still thinks he'll be ready for the season opener. He also said he was scheduled for a follow-up magnetic resonance imaging exam today.
The Eagles will also be without cornerback Sheldon Brown (ribs), linebacker Omar Gaither (sprained knee), fullback Leonard Weaver (sprained knee) and defensive lineman Darren Howard (groin) Thursday.