Around The NFL: News, Notes & Rumors
Michael Vick (Getty)
Michael Vick (Getty)
brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
Posted Sep 20, 2011
Brad Wilbricht


Michael Vick’s return is uncertain after suffering a concussion in Atlanta, the perception of Tony Romo changed dramatically following a comeback win against the 49ers, the Chiefs continue to lose marquee players for the season, Tim Tebow’s legend is heading in the wrong direction and much more inside.


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Vick suffers concussion, status uncertain

QB Michael Vick's status for Sunday's game remains uncertain as the Eagles prepared to begin the protocol of post-concussion testing.

Vick left Sunday night's game after his head banged against a teammate while being tackled following a pass. Eagles head athletic training Rick Burkholder said the team held Vick out of the game after his baseline tests in the locker room were "just a little bit off."

Burkholder said Vick talked to him and coach Andy Reid on the plane flight back from Atlanta on Sunday night, but declined to speculate on whether Vick will miss this weekend's game.

"That's foolish on our part medically to put timeframe out there," Burkholder said. "Everybody wants to know timeframe, everybody wants to know whether Mike's going to play, everybody wants to know whether Mike's going to practice. We're going to go through out protocol and when Mike's ready to practice, I'm going to turn him over to Coach and he's going to make a decision whether he's ready to play, had reps, all that kind of stuff."

Vick was resting early Monday but Burkholder said there was a chance he'd undergo an MRI later in the day. But he emphasized that it was far too early to speculate on when Vick will return to the field.

"We have a protocol; we're going to follow it. I'm not going to be back up here tomorrow and tell you that he's cleared, that's for sure."

With Vince Young inactive due to a hamstring injury, Mike Kafka entered Sunday night's game and completed 7-of-9 passes for 72 yards, with the incompletions being a dropped pass by Jeremy Maclin and a Hail Mary on the final play of the game.

Analysis: Sunday night’s game in Atlanta turned on a dime as soon as Vick went down. Should he miss any extended time, Philadelphia’s season could turn in the same direction. Backup Mike Kafka filled in admirably but can’t be depended on to successfully lead the Eagles for more than a week or two.

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Romo plans on playing through pain

The perception changed dramatically this week. Following a Week 1 loss against Jets, Romo was close to being crucified for choking away a sizeable lead in New York. Romo, however, has silenced most of those critics after playing through fractured ribs and even a punctured lung against the 49ers.

Following the update injury news, Romo’s status for this week’s game against Washington is uncertain. If it’s up to Romo, he’ll undoubtedly be on the field.

If Romo does indeed play, he’ll be without his top wideout, Miles Austin. Austin is expected to be out until after the Cowboys’ bye week with a hamstring injury.

Analysis: Romo has done a complete 180 in the eyes of his critics and fans, but must continue to perform for the Cowboys. Romo has been an easy target in recent years as Dallas’ overall play has been underwhelming, particularly in the playoffs.



Charles latest Chief to be lost for season

Jamaal Charles’ season is over and the explosive running back was placed on the injured reserve list after MRI tests Monday confirmed that he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Detroit. With the injury, Charles' season comes to an end with just 83 rushing yards and nine receiving yards on 17 touches in one game and one quarter of action.

Charles was hurt while running out of bounds with 8:18 remaining in the quarter. He stepped on a yard marker and crashed into the Lions' mascot, Roary, before crumpling to the turf.

Kansas City's Pro Bowl safety, Eric Berry, suffered a season-ending knee injury in its 41-7 loss to Buffalo on opening day last week.

"What you really have to do is pull together as a team," KC coach Todd Haley said."Injuries are part of the NFL. It's the collective will power of your entire roster that has to make up for some of these losses."

Analysis: Through just two regular-season games, everything that could have gone wrong for the Chiefs has. Losing arguably their best players on both sides of the ball (Berry and Charles) will certainly make the team’s bid for a second straight playoff bid next to impossible.



Tebow sees the field … as a wide receiver

QB Tim Tebow lined up at wide receiver in Sunday's win over Cincinnati after injuries put Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal and tight end Julius Thomas out of commission. He only played a handful of snaps and never had a pass sent his way.

"He actually graded 100 percent," Fox joked at his Monday press conference.

Tebow did run routes pre-game just in case and did some side work at practice, knowing Brandon Lloyd could be inactive.

"I have to know all the routes. I play quarterback," Tebow said of his experience on the other side of the receiving end. "It was fun, if anything."

Analysis: Tebow’s legend continues to grow, this time probably heading in the wrong direction. Tebow’s abilities as a quarterback aren’t on par with that of an NFL signal caller and the former Heisman Trophy winner has been relegated to seeing the field as a wide receiver.



Packers’ Collins out for season with neck injury

S Nick Collins had movement in all of his extremities after leaving Sunday's game at Carolina on a stretcher with a neck injury and being taken to a local hospital. Despite that positive news, Collins will be the remainder of the season.

The Packers released a statement saying: "Nick Collins has normal feeling and complete movement in his extremities. As is standard protocol, he will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation. When he returns to Green Bay, he will undergo further testing and evaluation."

Collins was injured while trying to tackle Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart and having his helmet hit Stewart's leg. Following medical examinations, it was decided that Collins will sit out the rest of the year.

Analysis: The Packers persevered through countless injuries during their Super Bowl season a year ago and could be deep enough to do the same in 2011. The loss of Collins will be the first test this time around.



Panthers’ Johnson sack streak reaches nine

DE Charles Johnson kept his remarkable streak alive of registering a sack in his ninth straight game. Johnson sacked Aaron Rodgers late in the second half, accounting for Carolina's third sack of the season and only one of the afternoon.

Johnson also had a huge stop for a 2-yard loss on a third-and-1 rushing attempt. That stop gave the Panthers a chance to get the ball back midway through the fourth quarter down by seven points.

The Panthers gave Johnson a $76.5 million contract extension this offseason and he's already showing he's not letting the money affect his performance on the field.

Analysis: Sacking Rodgers is never an easy task but Johnson didn’t let the challenge derail is ninth consecutive game with a sack. Johnson has been a big part of the Panthers’ unexpected rise to competitiveness so far during the early portion of the season.



Carolina’s Davis tears ACL for third time in 23 months

LB Thomas Davis re-tore the right anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the Carolina Panthers announced Monday. It's the third time Davis has torn the ACL in the last 23 months and he will miss the remainder of the season.

That's another huge blow to Carolina's struggling defense, which lost fellow defensive captain Jon Beason for the year to a torn Achilles in the season opener against Arizona.

"It's disappointing news," coach Ron Rivera said. "He trained so hard to come back off the situation and everything was coming together and he was playing really well. It was just like Jon (Beason) last week where he was looking good and playing well and then something like this happens. We'll go forward and see how things unfold."

The Panthers gave him a five-year, $35.5 million contract extension in July, but only $8 million of that money was guaranteed -- a $7 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary in 2010 -- which prevented the Panthers from taking a huge long-term salary cap hit in the even something like this happened again.

The injury occurred during the third quarter of Sunday's 30-23 loss to Green Bay when Davis got his leg stuck in a pile of players.

Omar Gaither took Davis' place on Sunday after he went down in Sunday's game, but Rivera wouldn't say who'll start this week at weak side linebacker this Sunday against Jacksonville. Along with Gaither, the Panthers have other options in Jason Williams, Thomas Williams and Jordan Senn.

"Somebody is going to have to step up, one of those four guys," Rivera said. "This may be a situation where it may be by committee."

Analysis: The Panthers have been much better than expected through two games this year but the loss of Davis certainly won’t help the team’s cause. Carolina lost Beason for the season last week and its linebacking corps has already been severely depleted.



Bills’ McKelvin torched by Oakland backup WRs

CB Leodis McKelvin endured a rough day, especially when you consider the Raiders were playing without both starting receivers, plus a key backup and their No. 1 tight end. Jason Campbell still found a way to pass for 323 yards, and one of the reasons was that he kept testing McKelvin, and was winning. McKelvin had a brutal day against rookie Denarius Moore (5 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD), but McKelvin wasn't totally buying it.

"I wouldn't necessarily call it a struggle, I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, it wasn't a struggle," McKelvin said. "You're going to give up plays, you're going to make plays. Obviously I got beat on a go route and things like that, but he made a great play. It's not like I wasn't there. There was one pass where I wasn't there so it wasn't like I wasn't struggling, I played great defense. I just didn't make the play."

But that's the problem with McKelvin, there are far too many instances where he doesn't make the play.

Analysis: Everyone knows the first part of recovery is admitting you have a problem. McKelvin, however, appears unwilling to admit he was burnt routinely by an undrafted rookie wideout.



Vikings’ Gerhart improving but stuck behind Peterson

RB Toby Gerhart's opportunities have been limited, but his performance against Tampa Bay suggests he could be ready for a larger role.

Gerhart set career highs with a 31-yard run on a sweep and a 42-yard reception on a screen pass, finishing the day with 78 combined yards on only three touches.

He also made a surprise start at fullback and could see expanded time in a third-down role, if his pass protection improves.

Analysis: Gerhart’s opportunities will be limited as long as he’s in Minnesota (assuming Adrian Peterson is as well). That said, Gerhart might ultimately be auditioning for a starting role elsewhere once his contract expires.

Information from the Sports Xchange was used in this report


Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com


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