Will Vick or McCoy Be in Uniform on Sunday?

Will Vick or McCoy Be in Uniform on Sunday?

Both Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy
passed the final stage in concussion testing, and are cleared for action this
week versus Washington. Whether either one of them are activated on Sunday – or
for any of the brief remnants of this season for that matter – remains to be seen.

Obviously, Vick is not expected to
start another game for the Eagles under center this year, or ever again for
that matter according to widely held beliefs. Whether he is or is not in
uniform against the Redskins is of little importance in the long run, even under
scenarios that would keep him in Philadelphia for 2013.

McCoy, on the other hand, is the Birds’
number-one back for the foreseeable future. While practically nothing he can do in these
last two games serves any meaningful purpose that I could imagine, the job is
still his so long as he’s healthy enough to do it. Running the football is what
he gets paid to do.

Quite the paradox we have here. Here’s
one guy most fans probably couldn’t care less is available the next two weeks.
The other, many of those same folks would likely prefer held out.

Should either one of them play
regardless of situation?

The depth chart indicates Vick is the
backup quarterback. However, if something were to happen to Nick Foles down the
stretch, it might not be a bad idea to get a look at Trent Edwards instead. Not
that he needs the audition for a starting gig or anything, but Edwards still
could make for a decent backup at least. It doesn’t hurt to get some new tape on him,
whereas the Eagles already know what they have in Vick.

Andy Reid could choose to make Vick
available over Edwards out of loyalty, or because that’s who would give the
team its best shot to win coming off the bench. Those are noble gestures and
all, either of which is hard to argue with, but ultimately what does it accomplish?

You could probably ask the same question
about reinserting Shady into the lineup. Winning games is inconsequential, and
perhaps the last guy the Eagles need to suffer a major injury over the next two
is McCoy. There is a difference between his situation and Vick’s though.

Vick lost his job, and the team is
evaluating for the future. McCoy is the future at running back.

If the Eagles hold McCoy out so that he
is fresh and ready to go next season, you won’t find any complaints here. Then
again, if he is 100% recovered from his injury, we can easily make the case he
should be in there regardless. He doesn’t necessarily need the snaps, or even a
full workload. That said, McCoy earns a ton of money to be the feature back for this organization, so once he’s
available, that’s what he ought to be doing.

That is of course unless Reid is going
to start sitting other starters as well. But as long as they are playing
with a full deck – or what’s left of one anyway – there is no reason to pull
out the joker. Besides, McCoy’s presence can only be beneficial to Foles.

We’ll find out what the Eagles think of
their little conundrum later on in the week, but there’s a decent chance we won’t
see either one of them the rest of the way. Given Vick’s circumstances, we even may have seen
the last of him entirely.

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Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers at Bucks
3:30 p.m. - CSN/CSNPhilly.com/streaming live on the NBCSports App

The Sixers (12-26) look to get back in the win column when they face the Milwaukee Bucks (20-19) at the Bradley Center in a Martin Luther King Day matinee.

Let's take a closer look at Monday afternoon's matchup:

1. Back on the Embiid express
The Sixers have started to show flashes of coming together and finally turning the corner on their massive rebuild. However, they are nowhere near the point that they can remove the biggest piece of the puzzle and still expect to win games.

The Sixers found that out again on Saturday night, as they were pummeled during the second half of a 109-93 loss to the Washington Wizards with Joel Embiid sidelined for rest.

The team didn't want to use the rookie phenom's absence as an excuse, but it was clear his presence was missed.

“We didn’t have that extra oomph,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after the loss. “Obviously, the omission of Joel Embiid clearly is impactful, but that’s the challenge. We just didn’t have it tonight.”

Embiid and his 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game will be back in the lineup against the Bucks.

2. Freak of nature
The Sixers won't be the only squad with a star in the making on the court Monday afternoon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown plenty of potential since he was selected by the Bucks 15th overall in the 2013 draft (Anthony Bennett, who was recently released by the Brooklyn Nets, was taken No. 1 overall that year, for those of you keeping track at home). But the man known as "The Greek Freak" has taken his game to new heights this season.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.4 points on 53.5 percent shooting in addition to 8.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals per game this season - all career highs. He's also coming off a 33-point, eight-rebound and six-assist performance in the Bucks' 111-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

With Antetokounmpo playing point guard full time now and the Bucks' starting five boasting players all above 6-foot-7, it's hard to determine how the Sixers will match up on defense. Whatever the plan is to slow down "The Greek Freak," it will have to be a total team effort.

3. Protect the paint
All of that size and athleticism for the Bucks is a big reason they attack the rim so much. Milwaukee is tied with Oklahoma City for the league lead in points in the paint with 50.6 per game.

The Sixers were dominated on the low block for 54 points by the Wizards on Saturday with Embiid out. For the season, they rank 14th in the league in points in the paint allowed at 42.3 a night.

One thing that might help the Sixers is their shot blocking. They swat 5.6 shots a game (sixth in the NBA), which could deter some of those romps to the rim by the Bucks.

4. Injuries
T.J. McConnell (right wrist), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Khris Middleton (hamstring) is out for the Bucks.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost 12 of their last 14 games to the Bucks.

• Ersan Ilyasova spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Bucks (see story on his return to Milwaukee). This will mark the fourth time he has faced his former team.

• Jabari Parker, selected No. 2 overall in the 2014 NBA draft right before Embiid, has emerged this season with 20.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

The Sixers will get Joel Embiid back in the lineup when they meet the Bucks on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, but they'll be without their starting point guard.

T.J. McConnell will miss Monday's game with a sprained right wrist suffered in Saturday night's loss to the Wizards in D.C., the Sixers announced Monday morning.

McConnell reportedly did not travel with the team to Milwaukee and is back home in Philadelphia.

The 24-year-old McConnell has been a presence this season for a Sixers team that desperately needed something from the point guard spot. In 38 games this season, McConnell has averaged 4.8 points, 5.8 points and 4.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists a night in an average of 22.3 minutes a game.

The highlight of McConnell's season, of course, came last week when he nailed the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the Sixers a 98-97 victory over the Knicks.

Sergio Rodriguez is expected to start in McConnell's place Monday against the Bucks.