Vick says ankle, Achilles sore
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A day after practicing for the first time in two months, Mike Vick regained some lost confidence.
The Atlanta Falcons' quarterback said Thursday his objective is to manage his pain while convincing himself he's still effective enough to help his team reverse the course of a 2-7 season.
"I'm just hoping and praying it's 100 percent mental and going about it in that way," Vick said. "I think if I think about it in that way, then I won't worry about it. I think it will be 100 percent, really."
Vick, who said his right ankle and Achilles' tendon won't heal fully for several more months, worked with the scout team for the second straight day as the Falcons prepared to visit New Orleans (4-5) this weekend.
Out since breaking his right leg in an Aug. 16 preseason game, Vick finally was able to practice Wednesday.
"It was the same soreness every day and day out. I figured it's not going to get any better, so I might as well go out and practice on it," said Vick, who last year set four NFL records for rushing by a quarterback and led the Falcons to the second round of the playoffs.
There is no chance Vick will play against the Saints, who beat Atlanta 45-17 and racked up 509 yards of total offense three weeks ago. He declined to predict when he will take snaps with the first team, but he hasn't ruled out making his regular-season debut next week against Tennessee.
The Falcons practiced indoors and wore full pads Thursday. Players dressed in shells the day before.
"I did enough so that I can go out there and bear with the pain and not try to overdo it," Vick said. "I didn't try to hold back anything. I was out there just trying to get into a rhythm and bear with the pain and hopefully try to work some of the soreness out. They're telling me my ankle won't be 100 percent, really, until next year, so I'm just going to go out there and try to bear with the pain."
The Falcons are coming off a 27-7 victory at Giants Stadium that allowed them to end a seven-game losing streak and to give coach Dan Reeves earn his 200th career win.
Kurt Kittner will make his fourth career start Sunday.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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