Michael Vick made his debut as an Eagle, playing several roles in the first half of Philadelphia’s National Football League pre-season win over Jacksonville.
Vick, playing his first game since serving 18 months in prison for his role in a brutal dogfighting ring, played quarterback, ran the wildcat formation and lined up at wide-receiver.
He received applause from Eagles fans when he entered the game on the first series. On his first play he lined up at quarterback and completed a four-yard shovel pass to LeSean McCoy.
The former Falcons superstar completed all four of his pass attempts for 19 yards. He recorded one rushing attempt in the Wildcat formation, gaining one yard.
Philadelphia emerged with a 33-32 victory over the Jaguars, but Vick was the center of attention.
The Eagles’ decision to sign Vick sparked controversy in Philadelphia, but demonstrations were subdued.
A pro-Vick march outside the stadium failed to materialize, although supporters set up a table and banners backing him.
A sprinkling of anti-Vick demonstrators were also on hand, along with animal rights advocates who said they just hoped Vick made good on his promise to lend support to the fight against animal abuse.
Hours before the game, Vick was in bankruptcy court in Newport News, Virginia.
While in prison, Vick filed for bankruptcy protection, but owes some 20 million dollars to varius creditors.
The judge approved his latest plan to repay his creditors, and Vick arrived at Lincoln Financial Field in time for pre-game warmups.
Vick’s last appearance in an NFL game was on December 31, 2006, leading the Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.
After pleading guilty to funding the dogfighting ring, Vick was dropped by Atlanta, a team where he was once adored as a quarterback whose run and pass skills made him a unique threat and among the richest players in the NFL.
Vick was released July 20 and his hopes of an NFL return came true when the Eagles signed him earlier this month.
Vick is eligible to play for the Eagles in their two final pre-season exhibition games but cannot yet play for the club in the regular season.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he would consider a full reinstatement for Vick by no later than the sixth week of the season, in mid-October, which could put him back in the lineup for a Monday night clash against division rival Washington.
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