Vick to be back on field

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Michael Vick will play in the Eagles' final preseason game against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.

Vick  Associated Press
Associated Press
Vick

Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said on Saturday that Vick played well Thursday against Jacksonville in his first game since spending 18 months in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.

Vick was in for six wildcat plays against the Jaguars. Reid said he could see time as a conventional quarterback against New York this Thursday.

That could be the last time the Eagles see Vick in uniform for a while. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can wait until Week 6 to reinstate the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback to the team's roster.

PATRIOTS: If there's anything wrong with Tom Brady 's throwing shoulder, New England coach Bill Belichick isn't saying.

Belichick said Saturday that Brady came out of Friday night's 27-24 victory over Washington after a crushing hit from Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth because it was time for the coaching staff to take a look at the backups. He lumped any problem with Brady's right shoulder into the category of normal "bumps and bruises" from a physical game.

"I'm saying that we made the decision to play other quarterbacks in the Washington game because we wanted them to play," Belichick said in a conference call with reporters. "Tom had a desire to play, but we made a football decision to play other players because we needed to see them at that position and make an evaluation there. That's what I'm saying."

BUCCANEERS: Byron Leftwich has won Tampa Bay's prolonged quarterback derby by beating out Luke McCown . Leftwich will start the team's regular-season opener against Dallas.

Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris said Leftwich had an edge over McCown heading into training camp and held it with steady play through three preseason games.

Morris had hoped to choose a starter before the third preseason game.

The first-year coach extended the competition after McCown closed the gap with a stronger performance in the second game. Although neither quarterback sparkled in Thursday's 10-6 loss to Miami, Leftwich did enough to win the job.

BENGALS: Quarterback Carson Palmer doesn't know whether Cincinnati's medical staff will let him play in the final preseason game.

Palmer sprained his left ankle in the first preseason game and has sat out the last two. He said Saturday that the ankle is improving, but he doesn't know what he'll be allowed to do leading up to Thursday's game against Indianapolis.

CARDINALS: The dismal performance by the Arizona's starters Friday night was strong evidence that all is not right with the defending NFC champions.

"One thing you worry about when a team has success (is) that you think you can just show up and beat anybody," said coach Ken Whisenhunt , a Richmond Academy and Georgia Tech grad. "That's a lesson we learned tonight. Part of that goes on me. Obviously we weren't coached well enough tonight."

Green Bay opened up a 38-10 halftime lead before holding off a rally led by Matt Leinart against the reserves for a 44-37 Packers victory.

"I'm glad of two things," Whisenhunt said. "I'm glad, No. 1, it's a preseason game, and No. 2, that maybe this is a wake-up call for our guys."

49ERS: Former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Marvel Smith has retired after being plagued by back problems during training camp.

Smith won two Super Bowl rings with Pittsburgh and made the Pro Bowl in 2004. Smith started 108 games with Pittsburgh but played only five games last season. He had back surgery in November and missed the Super Bowl.

COWBOYS: Add San Francisco's Andy Lee to the list of NFL punters who have kicked balls into the video boards hanging over the field at the new Cowboys Stadium.

During warmups before the preseason game Saturday night, Lee hit the board with one of his last kicks. He had a couple other boots that came close, but most of his 15 or so kicks didn't.

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