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August 29, 2009

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Home » Sports » American Football

Vick makes a low-key return for Philadelphia

MICHAEL Vick, jailed for 18 months after being convicted of bankrolling a dogfighting ring, returned to professional football on Thursday night with a low-key preseason performance for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick, who played as quarterback in the first quarter only, attempted and completed four passes to gain 19 yards in the Eagles' 33-32 victory in their third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Eagles fans rose from their seats and cheered Vick's first appearance on the field just two minutes into the game, and there was little sign of crowd hostility thereafter.

"I didn't think it was going to be that positive," he said. "I was listening to see what the reaction was going to be and I was very pleased."

After being formally dumped by the Atlanta Falcons in June, Vick's two-year contract with the Eagles divided football pundits and prompted some Philadelphia fans to say they would stop supporting the team.

However, fans gave the three-time All-Pro warm encouragement throughout the game, and rumors of opposing demonstrations by animal-rights protesters and pro-Vick supporters outside Lincoln Financial Field failed to materialize.

With his second play some 15 minutes into the game, Vick, wearing the No. 7 jersey, made just one yard and was easily blocked by the Jacksonville defense. But he completed a pass that led to a field goal by Eagles kicker David Akers and participated in six plays.

Vick, convicted of conspiracy charges in an interstate dogfighting ring and handed a 23-month sentence in 2007, said he was about 70 percent fit and looking forward to getting into "tip-top" shape.


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