PHILADELPHIA - Michael Vick pointed to the scoreboard on his way to the locker-room after suffering a concussion, reminding hecklers the Eagles were winning.
Without Vick, Philadelphia couldn't hold onto the lead and lost 35-31 to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. The Eagles (1-1) may again be without Vick for their home opener against the New York Giants.
Coach Andy Reid didn't rule out Vick's return this week, but head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder wouldn't give a time.
"That's foolish on our part medically to put time frame out there," Burkholder said Monday. "Everybody wants to know time frame, everybody wants to know whether Mike's going to play, everybody wants to know whether Mike's going to practise. We're going to go through our protocol and when Mike's ready to practise, 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 injured in the third quarter when he was spun around by a defender and slammed into right tackle Todd Herremans. His neck whipped back and he bit his tongue, which led to him spitting blood on his way off the field.
Vick wasn't woozy and seemed fully alert. He certainly was aware of the score — 31-21 in favour of the Eagles — when he pointed it out to fans in the Georgia Dome on his way in for tests. Vick barely failed those baseline tests, so the medical staff kept him on the sideline.
"He was just a little bit off, enough that we acted on the side of caution to hold him back as our standard protocol says," Burkholder said. "I was with him on the airplane. He was absolutely fine last night. As the days go on, we'll see, but last night he was pretty good. He told Coach he was fine, he told his teammates he was fine, he told me he was fine, and he was very far along last night."
Vick must pass several different tests and be evaluated by an independent neurologist before he can be cleared to return. The Pro Bowl quarterback had thrown for 242 yards and two touchdowns in his first game as a starter in Atlanta since going to prison and being released by the Falcons.
"There's a whole protocol to go through, and that's why we have it laid out so we're not guessing," Burkholder said. "That's why we have tests that we run, and all the protocol that we go through that we, the NFL and all the medical experts have put together, so there's a lot to do yet."
Reid sounded encouraged by a conversation he had with Vick after the game.
"He remembered everything," Reid said. "He recalled everything. I tried to quiz him and see where he was at. He was frustrated that he wasn't able to finish. He had a vested interest in finishing."
Reid wouldn't say whether Mike Kafka or Vince Young would start if Vick can't play against the Giants. Kafka, a fourth-round pick in 2010, played well in his NFL debut against the Falcons. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 72 yards and finished off the touchdown drive after Vick got hurt.
Kafka drove the Eagles to Atlanta's 22 in the final two minutes, but Jeremy Maclin dropped a pass on fourth-and-4.
Reid blamed his conservative play-calling for the offence's inability to score on full drives without Vick.
"I sent a message to our team and not a positive one," Reid said. "That is something I don't do, in particular given how much trust I have him (in Kafka). I'm kicking myself in the trail for that right now.
"When you have a lead, you have to get after it and stay aggressive. Again, I didn't set the tempo from that. We're going to learn how to finish here, starting with me and the coaches and the rest of the guys."
Young, a two-time Pro Bowl QB in Tennessee, was signed to be the backup, but he's been out with a hamstring injury. Kafka is more familiar with the offence since he was here last year.
"I would have never traded Kevin Kolb if I didn't have trust in Mike Kafka," Reid said. "I didn't show that last night. I didn't prove it to you last night until the last series."
Notes: Reid said hasn't decided whether the Eagles will need to add another QB given the injuries to Vick and Young. ... TE Brent Celek has a low back strain. DE Trent Cole has a strained tendon in his hand. DE Juqua Parker has a high ankle sprain and DE Darryl Tapp continues to recover from his pectoral strain that forced him to miss the game.