Michael Vick to learn today when he will be fully reinstated in the NFL
Back in July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Michael Vick would be allowed to return to professional football, albeit on a "conditional" basis.
Vick's prison sentence for dogfighting had only been completed for about a week when Goodell made his announcement, although Vick had served the last few months of his sentence at his Newport News, Va., home.
Now, just a week after Vick's first exhibition game with his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles -- and, we might add, with only a few appearances on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States' End Dogfighting campaign under his belt -- our colleague Sam Farmer has learned that Goodell is poised to announce his decision about when he will be fully reinstated in the NFL.
Vick is in the New York area for another exhibition game tonight, this one against the New York Jets, and has plans to meet with Goodell while he's there.
Farmer explains the significance of the announcement expected from Goodell from a football perspective:
When he conditionally reinstated Vick earlier this summer, Goodell said he would grant full reinstatement by no later than Week 6, provided the quarterback lives up to his end of the agreement. Now, it's entirely possible Vick could be ready to go for the Sept. 13 opener at Carolina.
One of the reasons the Eagles view it as important to know about Vick's status as soon as possible is teams must have their final 53-man rosters in place by Saturday.
As it stands, the Eagles have Vick on the roster as well as quarterback A.J. Feeley, who could have significant trade value. If Vick is granted full reinstatement right away, it would free Philadelphia to trade Feeley while keeping Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb as its starting and backup quarterbacks.
Since his announcement about the conditional reinstatement, Goodell has been in weekly contact with Vick, former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who is acting as a mentor to Vick at Goodell's request, or both, Farmer reports.
For its part, the Humane Society, which announced its intention to partner with Vick on the anti-dogfighting campaign back in May, has stated it has no official position on Vick's return to the NFL. Humane Society president and CEO Wayne Pacelle recently noted on his blog that he and representatives from other animal-protection agencies plan to work with the Eagles organization on a plan "to invest in anti-cruelty and anti-fighting programs" in the Philadelphia region.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Vick at an Aug. 27 Eagles-Jacksonville Jaguars game. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images