*Michael Vick’s return to Atlanta began with a midfield embrace with current Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. It ended with Vick in the locker room feeling the effects of a concussion he suffered in the third quarter of the Eagles’ 35-31 loss Sunday night, reports ESPN.com.
Vick threw for a pair of touchdowns for the Eagles (1-1) but left with what coach Andy Reid later described as a concussion after getting spun by a Falcons rusher into Eagles lineman Todd Herremans. No. 7 staggered to the sideline and appeared to spit out blood coming off the field.
Vick was not hospitalized and was cleared to travel with the team back to Philadelphia, but will have to undergo concussion-specific testing before he can be cleared to return to practice or play in a game.
Mike Kafka took over for Vick and finished a touchdown drive that gave Philadelphia a 31-21 lead. After the Eagles scored, Vick walked to the locker room for observation.
“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.”
Kafka did a good job in a tough situation, guiding the Eagles down the field on a potentially winning drive in the closing minutes. But on fourth down from Atlanta’s 22, Jeremy Maclin dropped a pass over the middle that would have kept it going.
The buildup for the prime-time contest was one of the biggest in years for a regular-season game in Atlanta. The Georgia Dome was packed and loud, many fans wearing Vick’s old No. 7 jersey from his Falcons days but plenty more sported Ryan’s No. 2.
Vick was the one-of-a-kind quarterback who put the Falcons on the NFL map before he was caught running a dogfighting operation, leading to a prison sentence of nearly two years.
Banished by the Falcons, he revitalized his career in Philadelphia and earned another $100 million contract. He had returned to Atlanta once before, as a backup in 2009, but this was different. He’s now THE guy for the Eagles, and he wanted to impress in front of his former city.
“I feel for him,” Maclin said. “Obviously, he wanted to come home and make a statement.”
Instead, he had to settle for mixed results and an early end to his night. Vick fumbled twice and threw an interception, and the Falcons turned two of those mistakes into touchdowns. He finished 19 of 28 for 242 yards passing, also going to Maclin on a 5-yard touchdown. In addition, the quarterback ran six times for 25 yards.
Vince Young, normally the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback, was inactive for the game because of a hamstring injury.