Michael Vick returned to practice Thursday for the first time since twice leaving the Atlanta Falcons’ loss last week at Seattle because of a tweaked left hamstring.
Coach Jim Mora listed Vick as probable for their game Sunday at Buffalo.
Vick, who walked without a limp, indicated his leg felt better as he strolled through the locker room after practice. The experience of rehabbing a sore hamstring is familiar to Vick, who sustained a similar injury to his right leg 13 months ago when Atlanta practiced for three days with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
After aggravating the injury in a 2004 exhibition game two weeks later against Minnesota, Vick sat out the next game before making an ineffective start in the exhibition finale at Washington.
Vick led the Falcons to a season-opening win the following week at San Francisco, but time is more precious after last week’s defeat. Giving his body three days to rest, Vick cleared himself to practice Thursday after a long period of stretching.
“I learned how to take care of it,” Vick said when asked to compare the aftermath of each injury. “I learned how to rehab it and what to do and what not to do. I’m taking precautions, but at the same time I’m doing what I can to try to strengthen it up.”
Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback Byron Leftwich returned to practice and remained optimistic he would play against the New York Jets.
Leftwich injured his groin last week at Indianapolis and was listed as questionable on the injury report. He sat out practice Wednesday but vowed to be on the field against the Jets.
Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens both practiced for the Philadelphia Eagles after sitting out a day with injuries.
McNabb, who sat out one practice last week because of a bruised chest, hurt his groin right before halftime against San Francisco. Owens has a nagging abdominal/groin injury.
Tight end Eric Johnson, the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver last season, was put on injured reserve because of a torn muscle in his left foot. Johnson sat out 2003 because of a broken collarbone but had 82 catches for 825 yards last season.
The Arizona Cardinals put tight end John Bronson on injured reserve because of a left knee injury, promoted cornerback Lamont Reid from the practice squad and re-signed wide receiver Carlyle Holiday to the practice squad.... The Washington Redskins put defensive tackle Brandon Noble on injured reserve after he underwent surgery on the same knee that kept him out for the 2003 season. The Redskins moved Aki Jones from the practice squad to take Noble’s roster spot.... Carolina safety Mike Minter returned to practice and said he was confident that his strained right calf wouldn’t prevent him from playing against the Miami Dolphins.... Injured wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are both expected to be in the starting lineup Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts play host to the Cleveland Browns.