New England Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham delivers a shot to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick’s ribs Monday night. (Jessica Rinaldi/ Reuters)

Update (5:30 p.m.): Tests on Michael Vick’s injured ribs revealed no broken bones or cartilage damage. Read the full story here.

In his first preseason game, Michael Vick dinged his thumb on a helmet as he threw a pass. In his second game Monday night, he took a blow to his perennially tender ribcage. At this rate, how on earth is he going to make it through the regular season?

New England Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham drove his helmet into Vick’s midsection after he released a pass in the first quarter of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 27-17 victory Monday night and Vick was finished for the game. X-rays were negative, but the precedent of two games and two X-rays is troubling for Vick, who has taken only six snaps in each game and, each time, was hurt on the sixth play. Vick, who has missed three games in each of the last two seasons because of rib injuries, will have an MRI and CT scan today.

“He’s sore,” Eagles Coach Andy Reid said (via “He was trying to talk me into going back in. How sore is sore? He got a good shot there. The precautionary measure is to see if it’s involving cartilage there.”

After a 2011 season that was marked by injury and ineffectiveness, Cunningham was eager to get back on the field, and unrepentant about the hit. “It’s football,” said Cunningham, mincing quarterbacks and not words. “That happens all the time.”

Whether Vick would be able to play Friday against the Cleveland Browns is a moot point; Reid said starters aren’t likely to play in the midst of a three-games-in-11-days span and, for better or worse, Vick isn’t likely to play until the season opener Sept. 9, again against the Browns.

“If he didn’t play again, I think he’s okay,” Reid said. “I’d tell you I’d probably like to see him play a little bit more. He’s got enough experience. We’re not talking about a rookie.”

No. The bigger question is how far into the season he’ll last.

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