Vick: If I can play, why not?

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, sidelined for nearly three months after fracturing a fibula in the preseason, makes his first start of the season against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night. Here's an excerpt from his interview for Sunday Conversation with former quarterback and ESPN analyst Steve Young.

Vick: If I can play, then why not? Why not come out and try to make an impact and try to help this football team? That's something I am taking pride in right now.

Young: How risky do you feel it is to go out there right now?

Vick: It's a big risk, Steve. But at the same time, I have that feeling that everything is going to work out fine, be OK, and I am hoping and praying that it does by making this decision which is a big decision. But I almost feel like I got hurt early on to be able to come back and play, so I am going to do it. I am going to believe in myself and believe in the guys around me. And we're going to go out and try to win that game on Sunday.

Young: How much fear is there this week?

Vick: There's no more fear.

Young: Last week took care of it?

Last week took care of it. My third play, I got hit, I got it rolled up on, and it held up pretty good and I didn't realize until I got to the sideline that I just took that hit. I was able to maintain it and I was able to get to the sideline and walk on my own two feet and so it was a big burden off my shoulders and it was a big relief.

Young: That was the moment?

Vick: I'm ready to play.

Young: And from that point on?

Vick: And from that point on, I was like, "I ain't holding nothing back."