Vick likely out vs. Titans

Updated: November 21, 2003, 1:51 PM ET
Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons quarterback Michael Vick missed practice Thursday and indicated he won't play against the Titans this weekend.

Vick sprained his right ankle in a morning walkthrough Wednesday, when guard Martin Bibla accidentally stepped on his foot. Vick hasn't played in a game since breaking his leg in the preseason.

"I wanted to come out and try and play this week, get a couple of snaps," Vick said. "But what happened yesterday was something that we all didn't expect. I got a little taste of what it's like to get it touched, and that's a good thing. Now I know. We'll just see how it plays out."

Vick refused to offer details of how he was hurt, but linebacker Keith Brooking acknowledged that he was blitzing and accidentally pushed Bibla backward. Vick and Bibla were working with the scout team, and Brooking with the first-team defense.

"I can't help it. That's just the way it goes, man," Brooking said.

Added Bibla, "Nobody's going full-tilt, but Keith goes a little harder than usual sometimes. That's just Keith, though."

The Falcons (2-8) have lost eight of their last nine as they prepare to host the Titans (8-2). Doug Johnson will start at quarterback for Atlanta.

If anything good came from his latest setback, Vick learned a hard lesson regarding his ankle brace. He practiced last week with a brace on his ankle, which was taped, but he didn't wear one for walkthroughs.

He will from now on.

"It was a little scary, but it was something that I think I needed," Vick said.

In his first full season as a starter last year, Vick led the Falcons to a 10-7-1 record and the second round of the NFC playoffs. He was the No. 1 overall draft choice in 2001 and set four league records for rushing by a quarterback in 2002.

Vick wants to play Nov. 30 at Houston if his ankle will let him, but his debut could get pushed back to the Dec. 7 home game with Carolina. He practiced last week for the first time this season.

"If it's something that happens in a walkthrough and it's that tender and he has a setback to where he can't practice, that's a pretty good sign that he probably needs to rest it a little bit longer," Brooking said.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press