NPR logo Michael Vick Conditionally Reinstated To Play NFL Football


Michael Vick Conditionally Reinstated To Play NFL Football

Former Atlanta Falcon quarterback, Michael Vick leaves federal court after a visit to the parole office in Norfolk, Va., Monday, July 20, 2009. AP Photo/Steve Helber/AP hide caption

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AP Photo/Steve Helber/AP

The path is clear for ex-National Football League quarterback Michael Vick to take snaps once again, with his reinstatement on a conditional basis today by league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Unfortunately for Vick and whatever team decides to sign him, Vick won't be able to take those snaps in regular season NFL games, at least not until Goodell decides that Vick has been sufficiently rehabilitated to be on the field for the regular-season games that count towards the playoffs.

That gives Goodell some control over one thing that likely keeps him up at night, the thought of Vick leading a team to the Super Bowl in his first season back.

Goodell will consider Vick for full reinstatement in week six of the season which arrives in October.

Not surprisingly, Vick won't be allowed to own a dog, according to the NFL. It does look like he's at least allowed to pet a dog, under the rules of his reinstatement, a good thing since Vick has proposed working with the Humane Society as one way to further show his remorse for bankrolling the infamous Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting business. Vick, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, served 23 months in federal prison on a dogfighting conviction.

According to the NFL news blog:

Vick, who's an unrestricted free agent, can now participate in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and may play in the final two preseason games. During the regular season, Vick can participate in all team activities other than games. Vick also will be periodically evaluated by Goodell during his suspension and will be mentored by former Colts coach Tony Dungy.

The NFL blog also contained excerpts from Goodell's letter to Vick:

"Among the conditions of this reinstatement, you are required to abide by the terms of the supervised release that were imposed on you by the court, which include not committing any further crime, limits on who you may associate with, prohibitions regarding drug and alcohol use, possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, and forbidding you to own, possess or be involved with the sale of any dog."

"Apart from these conditions, you have submitted to me a written plan concerning your proposed living arrangements, how you will manage your financial affairs, counseling and mentoring plans, and your proposed work with the Humane Society and other groups. You have committed to me that you intend to abide by this plan, and as I said when we met, you are accountable for doing so."

"I am also encouraged by your recognition that you cannot do this yourself, and that outside mentors and continued counseling will provide you with valuable support and assistance. After discussing possible mentors with you, I have asked Coach Tony Dungy to continue his work with you and to initiate a more formal mentoring relationship with you. Earlier today, we discussed in detail with Coach Dungy the precise nature of that relationship, and I share your view that Coach Dungy can help you in many ways as you rebuild your life and resume your career. I will stay in close touch with Coach Dungy and his views will be part of my decision concerning whether and when you return to play. I encourage you and Coach Dungy to select other mentors and advisors who can help in other phases of your life."