Originally created 10/09/01

Reeves uncertain of Chandler's status against 49ers

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Coach Dan Reeves was unsure Monday who will start at quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons this week if Chris Chandler is too injured to play.

The options are rookie Michael Vick, who played the entire second half to mixed reviews, or second-year backup Doug Johnson.

Chandler suffered a mild concussion in the second quarter of a 31-3 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday and did not return. He declined to answer questions Monday as he walked to a team meeting.

Atlanta (2-2) hosts the San Francisco 49ers (3-1) this week.

"I thought Mike did a lot of good things," Reeves said. "The things that he did poorly are the same things that ... happen to all rookie quarterbacks. There were probably three or four times that the calls weren't exactly the way they should be. Either in the wrong formation, called to the wrong side, the wrong protection, but there was a lot going on."

Vick completed 12 of 18 passes for 186 yards for a quarterback rating of 100.7 - a statistic that ignores two fumbles he lost in the red zone early in the fourth quarter. Running back Maurice Smith bailed out Vick on the first mistake by recovering the loose ball at the 17.

Though Vick completed a 14-yard pass to Bob Christian that put the Falcons first-and-goal at the 3, the NFL's No. 1 draft choice showed his experience as he rolled left on the next play.

Defensive end Phillip Daniels sacked Vick, who had no receivers open, and stripped the ball loose. Linebacker Brian Urlacher scooped up the ball and ran 90 yards for a touchdown.

Vick admitted being confused on several occasions as Reeves was calling the plays into the earpiece in his helmet. Though receiver Terance Mathis helped correct a couple of calls in the huddle, Vick and Reeves said each had a significant communication problem.

"I was getting some different things called than usual," Vick said. "As he's calling the play, I'm trying to visualize it as he's saying it. I hear him, I repeat to myself two or three times then I go out and say it. I got three of four calls wrong, formations wrong. We just can't make those mistakes this weekend. I know we won't."

Chandler was injured after Rosevelt Colvin sacked him for a 1-yard loss. Though his head got slammed against the Georgia Dome turf, Chandler returned and threw his second and third interceptions on the next two possessions.

Chandler began the day with a 126.5 rating, best in the NFL.

Chandler, who was diagnosed with a Grade 1 concussion and released from Piedmont Hospital on Sunday, missed a start at Detroit last year, one week after leaving a loss to Tampa Bay with a concussion.

Notes: Jefferson, listed as questionable with an injured back, had yet to see film of the hit he took from Mike Brown in the third quarter. "Some of the guys said it was a late hit, but hey, what can you do? That's something for the league to decide," he said. "We just can't turn the ball over five times and expect to win." ... Backup receiver Brian Finneran, who played his second straight game with a herniated disc in his back, took an epidural on Monday.


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