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September 17, 2009

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Philadelphia elevates Vick to 53-man team roster

THE Philadelphia Eagles elevated Michael Vick to the team's 53-man roster on Tuesday, a move that allows the quarterback to practice with them.

The Eagles released receiver Hank Baskett to make room for Vick, who is eligible to play on September 27 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Vick will begin practicing with the National Football League team today, though he cannot play in Sunday's home opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Vick was suspended for the first two regular-season games as the final league penalty for his role in running a dogfighting ring.

Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb is expected to take the snaps with the starters because incumbent Donovan McNabb has a cracked rib. Former San Francisco and Tampa Bay star Jeff Garcia was signed to back up Kolb in case McNabb can't play.

Vick was brought in to give the Eagles another dimension on offense. He ran Philadelphia's version of the wildcat offense and took some snaps as a traditional quarterback in two preseason games.

The Eagles were heavily criticized by animal rights activists for signing Vick less than a month after he finished serving 18 months in federal prison.

A month later, Vick's jersey is the fourth-highest seller in the NFL behind Brett Favre, Jay Cutler and Troy Polamalu. The league rankings are based on sales from April 1 to August 28, so Vick - and Favre, for that matter - had plenty of catching up to do since both joined their new teams last month.

Vick hasn't played in a regular-season game since December 31, 2006, when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. It's unlikely he would have started even if he were eligible to play this week. Eagles coach Andy Reid has maintained all along that Kolb was McNabb's backup.


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