PHILADELPHIA— Michael Vick made no excuses for an awful performance, taking the blame for missing open receivers and throwing poor passes.
Perhaps two broken ribs had something to do with it.
Vick broke his two lower ribs on the second play of the Eagles’ 21-17 loss to Arizona on Sunday. He didn’t tell anyone that he was hurt and played through the pain.
“He didn’t say anything, not a word. He’s a tough nut,” coach Andy Reid said Monday. “He said he really just blanked it out and played is kind of what he said, and really didn’t think twice about it.”
Vick’s status for the next game at the New York Giants (6-3) is uncertain. He missed three games last year with a rib cartilage injury.
The defending NFC East champion Eagles (3-6) are going nowhere in a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations. They have now lost five games in which they led in the fourth quarter.
Vick was injured after taking a hard hit from linebacker Daryl Washington on a 13-yard completion to Brent Celek on Philadelphia’s opening drive. He was slow to get up, but stayed in. He later sat out one play after taking another hard shot on a scramble in the fourth quarter.
Vick was 16 of 34 for 128 yards and two interceptions. He threw two other interceptions that didn’t count. One was negated by a penalty and another overturned on replay. Vick also misfired on several attempts, including overthrowing a wide-open Celek on what could’ve been a 66-yard TD catch.
“I’d probably say that (the injury) had something to do with it,” Reid said.
Vick has hardly resembled the guy who was an MVP candidate and Pro Bowl starter last season. He’s already thrown 11 interceptions in nine games. He had six picks all of last season.
“I was inaccurate and never really got comfortable,” Vick said after the game. “I’m very hard on myself and that just can’t happen. You have to find ways to get it done. I didn’t do it and I just have to figure out a way to get it done next time we’re in the situation.”
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and offensive lineman King Dunlap (concussion) also were injured in the loss to the Cardinals. Reid said Rodgers-Cromartie will “struggle” to return this week.
With Vick off target and the Eagles still nursing a lead, the offense inexplicably continued to throw instead of turning to LeSean McCoy, the NFC’s leading rusher. McCoy got the ball just twice after a 29-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 81 yards on just 14 carries.
“In this case, in this game here, we felt like we could throw the ball against their defense because obviously we wanted to put up points,” Reid said. “In hindsight, maybe we could have given him the ball more.”
Reid also defended defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who has come under heavy criticism in his first year at a new position after coaching the offensive line for several years. Asked if Castillo will continue to make the defensive calls, Reid said: “Yes.”