With Bucs game nearing, Falcons say Vick's okay

Associated Press
Published December 14, 2005

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora was optimistic Tuesday that the bruised ribs quarterback Michael Vick suffered Monday will not keep him out of Sunday's game at Chicago.

Vick said he expects to play.

Vick's status has implications for the Bucs. The Falcons, a game behind Tampa Bay in the NFC South, need a win to stay close before a visit to Raymond James Stadium on Dec.24.

Mora said Vick should play against the Bears, even if he is held out of practice.

"Mike is typically a fast healer," Mora said. "At this point in the season, he's basically seen everything he's going to see and practiced everything he needs to practice. The key is to get him as healthy as possible for Sunday night."

Vick said he suffered the injury in the Falcons' 36-17 win over New Orleans when he tackled Jason Craft after Craft's second-quarter interception.

"I landed on the guy's foot and right on my ribs," Vick said.

After taking several hits, Vick left in the fourth quarter, but by then he had run for a disputed 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter and a 17-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Atlanta improved to 3-0 in Monday night games this season. Vick is 5-0 against the Saints (3-10).

"We lost," said Saints receiver Joe Horn, who had five catches for 54 yards. "We're not making any excuses. It's frustrating right now.

"All the time I've been in New Orleans, this is the most frustrating. This is the lowest."