Thursday, September 3, 2009

Vick Likely Eligible for Week 1

A final resolution to the Michael Vick issue could come as soon as this weekend, and two sources close to the situation told FanHouse that they expect NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reinstate Vick immediately, making him eligible to play in the Eagles' first regular-season game on Sept. 13 in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers. reported earlier Wednesday that Goodell is expected to make a decision about further discipline on Vick by Saturday so that the Eagles could take it into account when setting their final 53-man roster. One of the sources confirmed that report, and both said they believe the decision will be a full reinstatement that suspended Vick for no regular season games.

"I think it's a no-brainer," one of the sources said. "The main reason Roger set up the suspension the way he did was to gauge public backlash, and the public backlash has been minimal."

In late July, shortly after Vick completed a two-year prison term for dogfighting crimes, Goodell announced a conditional reinstatement that would allow Vick to sign with an NFL team and play in that team's final two preseason games. Vick signed with the Eagles on Aug. 14 and played last Thursday against Jacksonville in Philadelphia -- he's also slated to play Thursday when Philadelphia visits the Jets.

At that time, Goodell said he would make a final decision on further discipline for Vick no later than Week 6 of the regular season. That allowed him the leeway to make the decision sooner, which it appears he will. Since Vick has behaved himself since the initial ruling was handed down, Goodell has little or no reason to hand out further discipline.

In addition, the Plaxico Burress case -- in which Goodell announced that Burress would face no NFL discipline once his prison sentence ends in 2011 -- kind of set a precedent for this. Vick already served an NFL suspension while in prison, and if Goodell reinstates him for Week One, then he'll face no further discipline beyond his own prison term.