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Vick, McCoy return to practice on limited basis

reuben frank csnphilly

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:45 PM


Vick, McCoy return to practice on limited basis

December 11, 2012, 3:15 pm

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LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick have both passed their ImPACT tests following November concussions, and both returned to practice Tuesday on a limited basis, although neither has been cleared yet to play in a game and neither is expected to be available for the Eagles when they face the Bengals on Thursday night.

Vick suffered his concussion Nov. 11 against the Cowboys, McCoy a week later in Washington. Neither had practiced since until Tuesday.

Neither Vick nor McCoy has yet been cleared by the independent, league-certified neurologist or by Eagles team doctor and concussion specialist Gary Dorshimer, and until they are, they can’t return to game action or participate in any contact drills. However, quarterbacks never participate in contact drills, and the Eagles don’t hit at practice at this point in the season anyway.

By passing into stage five of the Eagles’ own concussion recovery program and by reaching baseline on the league-mandated ImPACT test, which compares pre-concussion and post-concussion brain activity, McCoy and Vick can participate in all non-contact activities.

“Those two guys are really coming along,” Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said.

During a brief period of practice that was open to the media Tuesday, reporters watched Vick lob passes to Damaris Johnson during a warm-up period and McCoy jog through some plays with the other running backs.

Both McCoy and Vick declined to talk to reporters before practice. Head coach Andy Reid has already designated Nick Foles as his starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

Burkholder said Tuesday he hopes Vick and McCoy can both meet with both the independent neurologist and Dorshimer on Wednesday.

Although Vick will become Foles’ backup when he’s healthy, Reid hasn’t speculated how he would use McCoy if and when he returns to action. Rookie Bryce Brown has been starting in his place.

Meanwhile, tight end Brent Celek, who was ruled out on Monday for Thursday’s game, is showing no symptoms two days after his concussion and actually hasn’t shown any symptoms since soon after he got hurt on the first play of the Tampa game. He’s already passed his ImPACT test but remains in stage one of the Eagles’ own five-stage concussion program and is expected to be in stage two on Wednesday.

Burkholder said Celek did briefly lose consciousness on the field, so even though he seems fine and has already passed his ImPACT test, he still must go through the concussion recovery program, and there just isn’t time to advance through it during a short week.

“He was a little out of it when we were coming off the field … and his balance was a little off inside,” Burkholder said. "Dr. Dorshimer evaluated him inside [the locker room during the game], and he was pretty good – he had a little bit of balance issues – but when we saw him at halftime, he was even better [and] by the end of the game he was completely asymptomatic. His balance was back. Everything was back to normal.”

Burkholder said Celek did some work on the stationary bike and some balance work on Tuesday and will be in stage two on Wednesday.

Celek said Monday he felt fine and would probably have been able to play if the game was on Sunday.

But the short week – the Eagles face the Bengals on Thursday night at the Linc – makes it impossible to get through all the concussion recovery stages.

Celek has played in all 98 games since his rookie year and hasn’t missed a game since he was in sixth grade.

“It’s impossible to do those five phases in four days,” Burkholder said.

Even though neither Vick or McCoy lost consciousness and Celek did, Celek’s concussion is clearly far less serious than theirs. Burkholder said that just shows how unpredictable head injuries are and that every one is different and every recovery process is unique.

“All three of these concussions have acted differently,” he said. “Here’s a guy who actually lost consciousness for a short amount of tie, and his baseline is back to normal already. … That’s why we have the standards that we have. … I live by the deal, ‘If you’ve seen one concussion, you’ve seen one concussion.’”

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com