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Roger Goodell reinstates Michael Vick

Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.

Michael Vick has been through a lot the last two-plus years.

An 18-month prison sentence in one of the country's toughest jails. Numerous court hearings, shrink sessions and meetings with the NFL. There's no debating that Vick bought all of it on himself. Bank rolling a dogfighting ring as well as participating in the killings of the animals is a no no.

Vick did it and paid the price.

Now he's back. No, really, he's back. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Vick on Thursday. He will be eligible to play week three. For Vick, it means a return to normalcy. It won't be like his life before all the drama, but he'll at least be able to return to what he does best: play football.

"It felt good to finally take some snaps at the quarterback position," Vick said after Thursday's 38-27 loss to the Jets. "I think I played fairly well. There are some things I could have done better, but it felt good to get out there and play some quarterback on a consistent basis and shake off some cobwebs."

Typical player speak after a game. Yeah, Vick is back.

As for the game, Vick, who played sparingly in the first half and the entire third quarter, was booed every time he came on the field. There were some protest signs, but nothing like the heat he got when this whole dogfighting mess started.

"That's part of the game. Jets fans...they're great," he said of the booing. "They go out and demonstrate what true fans are supposed to be."

Of course there were some sickos who went too far and shined lazers on Vick throughout the game. Stadium security searched for the culprits, but couldn't find them. More and more, football fans are beginning to accept the fact that Vick is back to stay.

Vick completed 7-of-11 passes for 26 yards and carries 7 times for 35 yards and a touchdown. It wasn't all roses for Vick, though. He threw an interception and lost a fumble. A two-year absence will do that to you.

"I still think I'm a couple of weeks away," Vick said when asked how close he is to the player he used to be. "I'll take this time to get in shape...to get my endurance and to continue to strengthen my legs and to work my mind with the offense, the mental capacity of the game."

As for his meeting with Goodell, Vick had to do a lot of convincing.

"I've been trying to show him that I'm moving in the right direction," he said. "I'm changing my life for the better. I'm showing him that I'm doing all the things that a professional athlete is supposed to do on and off the field."

I have to continue to have faith and have faith in myself and trust myself and I think he believed that," Vick added.

As for his teammates, he's got nothing but love from them.

"Two weeks out, and I felt like I missed an eternity. Two years, I can't imagine," said Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. "I said it's going to be a slow process. We're all trying to feed him positive motivation. You could tell the athleticism was there tonight."

Vick did his time. And given enough time and it will seem as if he never left.