Eagles' Vick, McCoy still sidelined by concussions
In an expected announcement, Eagles athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Friday that neither has been cleared to return to football activity after suffering concussions last month.
Burkholder sent McCoy to Pittsburgh to be examined by the University of Pittsburgh's concussion specialists because he "just didn't like the way things were adding up. I didn't like how he was getting symptoms at night and not during the day.''
He said those tests yielded nothing alarming but did convince Burkholder to change McCoy's rehabilitation protocol.
Burkholder said Vick is improving in his physical rehabilitation but is "in kind of a stagnant phase'' with his testing.
The Eagles (3-9) are in last place in the NFC East, and have lost eight in a row. Quarterback Nick Foles and running back Bryce Brown will start Sunday. Both have filled in admirably, as Brown has rushed for 347 yards in his first two NFL starts -- the most by an Eagle in a two-game span in 63 years.
"They do some pen-and-paper testing [and] they take them through a hard workout,'' Burkholder said of Philadelphia's injured stars. "They have some goggles that they can look at their eye movement and track that kind of thing. They have some more intense testing [too]. Nothing came back like big red flags.''
Yet neither is anywhere near a return for a team that is looking forward to next season, and has been for awhile.
Burkholder said Vick and McCoy both remain in stage four of the Eagles' five-phase concussion recovery program and said neither has passed the league-mandated ImPACT test. He said results of their latest tests, taken Friday, were not available.
"We're waiting to go to phase five and phase five . is contact,'' Burkholder said. "I'm just waiting until they get less symptoms and a little bit better on their reaction time before I move them into that phase.''
Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, will be inactive for a fourth straight week. McCoy, who led the NFL in touchdowns last year, will miss his third straight game. This will be the 10th game Vick has missed with injuries since taking starting duties away from Kevin Kolb in 2010.
"If you can't get your eyes totally back, it's hard to do the reaction-time stuff,'' Burkholder said of Vick. "We're working on that. We're working on his tracking and what we call convergence and stuff like that, and it'll come.''
The work that the two are getting in has been intense, just without contact. On Friday, Vick and McCoy ran 15 100-yard sprints, then 50-yard walks in between. So, their heart rates were high. They also lifted in the weight room.
Elsewhere, Burkholder also said veteran defensive tackle Mike Patterson has been hospitalized with what the team believes is viral pneumonia and won't make the trip. He said the condition is not related to his offseason brain surgery, and he said there are no signs that anybody else on the team is suffering from the condition.
"He's doing fine,'' Burkholder said. "He's stable. He just got sick and he ended up with pneumonia [and] we put him in the hospital where he could get the best care and we can keep an eye on him.
"We'll see how he does over the next couple of days.''