QB Michael Vick Conditionally Reinstated To NFL

How long does an indefinite suspension last? It sounds like some sort of sports-themed Zen riddle, but it was a question on the minds of many football fans regarding the suspension of noted animal lover and one-time NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

Since Vick was released from federal custody earlier this month, many sportswriters have speculated on the timeline for Vick’s return to the NFL. Whereas once it seemed like a long shot that an NFL team would even entertain the notion of employing Vick, now it seems like almost an inevitably that someone will give him a shot. This afternoon, Vick came one giant leap closer to an NFL roster after commissioner Roger Goodell finally decided Vick’s fate.

Word trickled out this afternoon, first via an Adam Schefter tweet, then an ASSOCIATED PRESS report. The verdict?

Vick can immediately participate in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games—if he can find a team that will sign him. A number of teams have already said they would not. 

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Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19). 

The considerations for Vick’s full reinstatement are not clearly listed, but apparently they involved Vick to continue meeting regularly with retired Colts coach Tony Dungy, who is serving as a sort of mentor and sponsor for Vick as he attempts his comeback. Presumably, other conditions will involve Vick staying out of trouble and exhibiting a public aura of contrition.

Obviously, none of this will matter if no one steps forward to claim the wayward QB, but at least now teams have an understanding of what the limitations on his performance will be. And, of course, now we know the answer to the riddle:  How long does an indefinite suspension last? For Michael Vick, anyways, the answer is 703 days.