Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick may be nursing sore ribs and have only taken twelve snaps this preseason, but that won’t prevent him from being the team’s starter in Week 1 against the Browns.
After an x-ray revealed no fracture, a CT scan and MRI results also showed no long-term damage to Vick’s ribs. According to head coach Andy Reid on Wednesday,
Vick has bruised ribs and will not practice. He’s still pretty sore. Most likely, he won’t practice, and most likely, he won’t play, but we’ll take it day-by-day.”
Reid will keep Vick out for the remainder of the preseason and bank on his experience as a veteran and his work this offseason to lead the Eagles come the start of the regular season in Cleveland.
The head coach saw positive signs from Vick in terms of his effort to protect himself. Though the technique was problematic, the fact that he slid was something that Reid saw as a good step. But the coach indicated that there is a “fine line” with having Vick be concerned about his health and having that concern hold him back from what makes him effective when he hits his stride.
“It’s a violent sport where you’re going to get injuries. If you’re out there worried about that part of it, you’re not going to perform to the best of your ability. Then, you have to catch a break here or there. You have to catch a break in a positive way where you’re not absorbing the big hits.”
In addressing the specific play where Vick took the hit on Monday night, Reid would not place blame on Vick for holding on to the ball too long.
I mean, it’s a catch-22, because you’re asking me on one side, should he have gotten rid of the ball and was he being Michael Vick? Well, he was being Michael Vick and he was moving around and doing the things that have made him very successful. So, I don’t see any hesitation or fear. I don’t see any of that.”
While Reid acknowledges that he wishes Vick could have gotten more time in games this preseason, he’s reacting to the hand the team has been dealt.
Yeah, I’m sure both of us would like him to have more reps but you bank on his maturity and experience to get him through a situation like this. So, that’s what we’ll do.”
As for Friday’s game against Cleveland, Nick Foles will get the start and play for about a half, while the rest of the starters will likely play for just a quarter. The contest will be an important step in Foles’ NFL career as it will mark the first time that he will face the opposing team’s starters.
Foles will likely see an increase in the speed on the field against the 1s versus the experience against New England’s second team he got on Monday. How the young quarterback reacts will be an important gauge of his progress overall.
It’s good experience for him. He’s a young guy and so every rep he gets, I think, is a positive rep for him. But he’ll get the prep time now, short prep time he’ll get, but we’ll see how it works for him.”
Trent Edwards will be the backup quarterback on Friday and play the second half of the game.
Reid opened the door on the possibility of Kafka returning to action in Philadelphia’s final preseason game against the Jets but made no promises. When asked if he would re-evaluate Kafka’s spot on the depth chart if he had virtually no playing time in the preseason, coach cracked the door to a quarterback “controversy.”
We’ll see. I’ve got to see how these other players, how they perform. So I want to give those guys an opportunity to perform and then if Mike’s able to come back and get some work in that [fourth] game, Kafka that is, we’ll see how he does then.”
Who will ultimately get the #2 quarterback spot for the Birds? It’s a matter of increasing importance–and concern.
As good as he’s been, Foles should ideally have more time to learn the Eagles’ playbook before being thrust into a position of such importance. But it increasingly looks like he can handle it. While Kafka has a firm grasp on that side of things, his performance on the field shows that he doesn’t have what it takes to give the Eagles a reasonable shot to win in Mike Vick’s virtually inevitable absence. So what are the Birds to do?