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Michael Vick will be eligible to play beginning third Philadelphia Eagles game of the season

September 3, 2009 |  5:28 pm

Michael Vick

Michael Vick's reinstatement in the NFL will be official -- and no longer "conditional" -- as of the Philadelphia Eagles' third game of regular-season play, our colleague Sam Farmer reports.

The announcement was made after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's meeting with Vick earlier today, which reportedly lasted the better part of an hour. After the meeting with Vick, Goodell met with the man who's acting as his mentor, former NFL coach Tony Dungy, for 45 minutes.

"Hopefully we can have a success story here, which would be good for society in general," Goodell told ESPN of Vick. "He's realistic about the challenges ahead. And anxious to play football."  From ESPN:

During their meeting Thursday, the topic of Vick's past experiences and why he got involved in dog-fighting came up. One of Vick's representatives was explaining it, when Vick stepped in and took responsibility. "He was genuinely remorseful," Goodell said.

Goodell said he did discuss with Vick the report that he was seen drinking an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant at the hotel where he was staying. Goodell said it was not a violation of his probation.

"It highlights the tremendous microscope this man is under," Goodell said. "He understands he has little margin for error. It served as a useful lesson."

When Goodell first announced that Vick would be allowed to return to the NFL, he said he wouldn't consider offering him full reinstatement until the sixth week of league play, in mid-October.  It's unclear what caused him to change his mind and push up the date of his official reinstatement.

Video: Michael Vick talks to Chicago youth about dogfighting
Michael Vick to work with Humane Society on its campaign against dogfighting

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Vick smiles after the Eagles win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on Aug. 27. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

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