QB Michael Vick plays for first time in 33 months

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – Michael Vick is back in the NFL and he didn’t have to wait long to get in the game.

On the second play from scrimmage in the Philadelphia Eagles’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Vick lined up as a wide receiver, went in motion, had a handoff faked to him and then watched as LeSean McCoy lost a yard on a carry.

The appearance was Vick’s first regular-season action since New Year’s Eve 2006. He served an 18-month stint in prison on a dogfighting conviction.

Vick’s return has been one of the most anticipated events in the NFL this season. A Pro Bowler in three of his six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick went from a hero to a disgrace in 2007 when his association with a dogfighting ring was announced by federal authorities.

Before the game, a group of about 25 protesters gathered at the northeast entrance to the stadium, holding signs saying, “Vick is sick” and “Ethics over athletics.” As fans walked by, some began chanting Vick’s name and a few shouted insults at the protesters. A few Philadelphia police officers kept an eye on things.

When Vick got into the game, many in the sold out crowd of around 60,000 didn’t seem to notice.

Among those who did, some got up and gave him a standing ovation.

His second play on the second series drew a lot more attention and there was a loud cheer. Taking a shotgun snap, Vick ran an option keeper to the right and gained 7 yards.

The fleet-footed Vick, who gained 1,000 yards rushing in 2006, got a chance to throw his first pass on the same series on a first and goal from the Chiefs 5. However, his pass went out of the end zone as he took a big hit.

Vick took a shotgun snap on the Eagles’ third series and handed off to McCoy for an 11-yard gain.

Starting quarterback Kevin Kolb was not on the field for the three plays that Vick took shotgun snaps.

Vick was released from prison in late July and signed a one-year deal for $1.6 million with an Eagles’ option for a second year at $5.2 million.

Editor’s note: Vick has called his offenses “a horrible mistake” and vowed to crusade for animal rights.