Early signs point to Barkley starting for Eagles

Early signs point to Barkley starting for Eagles

Kelly: 'Mike didn't seem like he would be ready this week'

October 28, 2013, 5:45 pm
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If Matt Barkley (center) starts Sunday, he'll be the Eagles' third different starting QB in three weeks. (AP)

A day after Michael Vick’s ill-fated attempt to play football with a damaged hamstring, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly tried to pick up the pieces of a shattered quarterback position.

It's not going very well.

Kelly said Monday that Vick is unlikely to play against the Raiders, and he said that as of early Monday Nick Foles still hadn’t been cleared through the NFL’s concussion rehab protocol.

All of which points to rookie Matt Barkley making his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland.

He would be the Eagles’ third starting quarterback in three weeks.

“Mike didn't seem like he was going to be ready this week,” Kelly said.

Vick underwent an MRI Monday morning, but Kelly said early in the afternoon he didn’t have the results yet.

He didn’t sound optimistic we’ll see Vick play quarterback for the Eagles any time soon.

“This is the first time I talked to him that he thought like maybe he might be out,” Kelly said. “We'll see when we sit down and visit with him after they get the final results and I talk to Chris (Peduzzi, Eagles trainer) and Dr. [Peter] DeLuca (team physician).”

Vick hobbled through four horribly ineffective series in Sunday’s 15-7 loss to the Giants before giving way to Barkley. The offense generated 26 yards and just two first downs on the four drives Vick played.

Foles, who suffered a concussion last week against Dallas, took the ImPACT brain function test on Monday, Kelly said, but he said he didn’t have any results.

If Vick and Foles are both out Sunday, Barkley starts and G.J. Kinne likely moves from the practice squad onto the 53-man roster.

If Foles is available, then what? Does Foles return to the lineup? Does Barkley get the nod?

Kelly won’t say.

“When I get all the information on the health of our quarterbacks, I'll tell you who our starting quarterback is going to be,” he said.

“If Nick is not cleared, that's another discussion we have to have. Until we get all the information about it, then we'll make a determination of where we are. If Nick is not cleared, and Mike is out, we only have one quarterback, we have to do something.”

The last time the Eagles started three quarterbacks in three games was November 2002, when Donovan McNabb broke his leg in a win over the Cards, Koy Detmer injured his elbow in a win over the 49ers and then A.J. Feeley started the last five regular-season games, winning four and leading the Eagles to the playoffs.

McNabb returned for the playoffs, and the Eagles went to their second of four straight NFC Championship games.

This time it’s not going quite so well.

In the last two games, Vick, Foles and Barkley are a combined 45 for 64 for 397 yards with no touchdown passes, five interceptions, a fumble and a composite 41.6 passer rating.

The Eagles didn’t score an offensive touchdown in losses to the Cowboys and Giants, falling to 3-5 at the midway point.

This is the first time since September 1999 they’ve gone consecutive games without an offensive touchdown.

That was the height of the Doug Pederson era.

If Barkley does start Sunday, it will be his first chance to get a significant portion of practice time with the starting offense and his first chance to enter a game with the Eagles not trailing by double digits.

“It's unfortunate for Matt both times he's been in the game … his chance to go in the game is because we've had an injury at that position [and] we're down,” Kelly said. “This is kind of what we’ve got to do at that point in time.”

Barkley is hitting on 61 percent of his passes, which is good, but the turnovers have been costly.

On Sunday, he was 17 for 26 for 158 yards but also had the two turnovers and was sacked three times. He has yet to put up a point, and he’s turned the ball over five times in the equivalent of about one game.

“I don't think Matt played poorly,” Kelly said. “He made a bad decision at the end of the first half [not throwing the ball away before he fumbled]. He knows he made a mistake. We have to chalk it up from there.

“There were some positives that I myself, all our coaches when you look at the tape, that you can get from Matt's performance that you can really build on.

“I think he's got a good understanding of what we're doing. He puts the ball on people, gave the guys a chance to run after the catch. I think he's got a bright future.”

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