Michael Vick lies injured on the field as teammates Clay Harbor (82), LeSean McCoy (25) and tackle Todd Herremans (79) stand over him. (Photo: AP Photo/Butch Dill)
The buildup for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick’s return to Atlanta was enormous Sunday night.
It was "Vick versus the team he built" and probably more so it was about Vick versus his replacement in Atlanta, Matt Ryan. For a while Sunday, the game lived up to the hype with both quarterbacks making spectacular plays to lead their teams.
But the ending couldn’t have been anything like Vick envisioned. He was forced to leave the field in the third quarter with a concussion, while his team went on to suffer a 35-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the divided Georgia Dome.
Vick had not been a starter in the Georgia Dome since he was convicted for running a dog fighting ring in Virginia. The Falcons parted ways with their troubled franchise quarterback, but based on the number of fans still donning his Atlanta jersey, he remains a favorite son.
"I feel for him," Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "Obviously, he wanted to come home and make a statement."
When Vick exited the game in the third quarter he had led the Eagles back to a 24-21 lead and was on the way to victory, adding another touchdown on the drive where he suffered the concussion. Mike Kafka came in for Vick and finished off the touchdown drive and nearly pulled off a late comeback drive.
Vick watched for a minute before being taken back to the locker room for further observations. He didn’t return to the playing field but did not need to hospitalized. He suffered the concussion when he was spun into one of his own offensive linemen.
"I know Mike is upset about [not finishing]," Kafka said. "When you're hit like that, you can't do anything about it. It's out of his control."