NFL comissioner Roger Goodell was surprisingly lenient when he turned Michael Vick's six-game suspension into a two-game suspension, meaning that Vick will be back on the field for full-fledged NFL regular season games beginning Sept. 27.
But more importantly for Raiders fans, it means Vick will be active and suited up for the opposing team when the Eagles visit the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Oct. 18.
This may be the only time you ever see an animal rights rally in the parking lot at the Black Hole.
Unless Donovan McNabb either gets hurt or turns into Andrew Walter, Vick would probably be utilized situationally in "wildcat" formations wherein he would take the snap and immediately scramble for yardage.
True, the Raiders have exhibited poor tackling and bad run defense schemes so far this preseason. That said, the schemes may have been bad because defensive coordinator John Marshall is intentionally saving his most effective schemes for during the regular season when the games actually count.
But if you saw Vick play Thursday night in a 38-27 preseason loss to the Jets, you may wonder just how much of a threat this vaunted Michael Vick scrambling attack may really be. Yes, Vick did rush for one touchdown. From two yards out. Your Aunt Tilly could run it in from two yards out.
It should be making opposing defensive coordinators pant and slobber -- er, make that, take notice -- that Vick lost a whopping 40 yards getting sacked four times by the Jets. He doesn't look like the guy who was going to revolutionize the quarterback position, he looks like a guy who's been cramped up in a nine-by-nine cell for the last 18 months. Frankly, Vick just doesn't look that quick or mobile since he's returned.
So while you keep hearing about all the havoc Michael Vick could wreak on opponents' defenses this year, keep in mind that Vick's limited performance so far indicates that Terdell Sands could run him down while holding with a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in one hand.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who suggests the Raiders hold "Bring Your Dog to the Game Day" on Oct. 18.