Mora expects Vick to play

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - With the game hanging in the balance, Michael Vick headed to the sideline. He ripped off his helmet and slung it to the ground, fully aware that his day was over.

One play later, the Atlanta Falcons were done, too.

When Vick's left hamstring tightened up, the Falcons had to go with backup Matt Schaub on their final offensive play, a last-gap attempt to come all the way back from a 21-point halftime deficit at Seattle.

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Schaub threw an incomplete pass, the Seahawks held on for a 21-18 win, and now the Vick watch begins.

Will he feel good enough to play next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills? If not, can the Falcons win without him?

"My gut feeling is he will be OK," coach Jim Mora said Monday. "Knowing Mike, he doesn't like to not practice. He doesn't like to not be part of the plan."

Vick's hamstring began hurting in the fourth quarter after a 32-yard run, and Schaub came on to finish off a touchdown drive that brought the Falcons within a field goal.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta trainers feverishly tried to get Vick ready for one more possession. After the defense held, the Falcons got the ball back at their own 27 with 2:39 remaining – plenty of time to get in position for a tying field goal.

But Vick wasn't the same player.

After handing off and throwing a short pass, he found himself with a chance to break off another long run. A huge hole opened up in the middle as Vick dropped back to pass, but he hesitated briefly, stumbled trying to make a cut and was dropped for a 1-yard loss.