Kelly: With Foles hurt, Eagles won't rush Vick

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Kelly: With Foles hurt, Eagles won't rush Vick

October 21, 2013, 3:15 pm
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The Week 8 status of both Michael Vick (hamstring) and Nick Foles (concussion) is uncertain. (USA Today Images)

Maybe it’ll be Nick Foles. Maybe it’ll be Michael Vick. Maybe it’ll be Matt Barkley.

Yeah, so we have that pretty much narrowed down.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said Monday he has no idea whether Foles, Vick or Barkley will start at quarterback Sunday when the Eagles face the Giants at the Linc.

Vick has missed the last 2½ games with a hamstring injury, Foles left Sunday’s loss against the Cowboys with a concussion, and Barkley -– who at the moment is the only healthy quarterback on the roster –- threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter in his NFL debut on Sunday, a 17-3 loss to Dallas.

So who’s it going to be?

“You ask that question 27 times, you’re going to keep getting the same answer,” Kelly said.

“My decision who the quarterback is is based on health, so right now I don’t know who’s healthy and who’s not healthy, and until we find out who’s healthy, it doesn’t help anybody to say, ‘That guy’s our starter.’”

The Eagles last used three starters in a season in 2002, when Donovan McNabb started the first 10 games, Koy Detmer replaced him when he got hurt against Arizona, and then A.J. Feeley finished the season, going 4-1 after Detmer got hurt in San Francisco.

Kelly said there’s no point speculating right now what’s going to happen next.

“It doesn’t help the situation, because I don’t know when they’re all coming back,” Kelly said. “Our whole focus is to play the New York Giants this week, and what’s the best way to get us to beat the Giants and depending on who’s the healthy quarterback this week, then that’s who we’re going with.

“You’re never going to get that answer until I know who’s healthy.”

Kelly did say he won’t accelerate Vick’s rehab because of Foles’ injury. He won’t try to rush Vick back just because he’s desperate.

“No, it’s all based on what his health is,” he said. “I’m not going to put Mike out there if Mike can’t be productive. We’ve listened to Mike the whole time, so we’ll continue to listen to Mike.

“That can’t change just because someone else got hurt, that doesn’t make another guy get healthy quickly. Hopefully we can get Mike back, but just because of Nick’s injury, we’re not going to force that.”

Kelly said Foles has been placed in the NFL’s concussion recovery protocol. He was injured while getting sacked on the final play of the third quarter Sunday.

To return to practice, he must pass the so-called ImPACT test that measures brain function, he must be cleared by an independent league-appointed neurologist and he must pass through five stages of increased physical exertion without experiencing symptoms.

“I saw Nick after the game [Sunday] night, he seem like he’s doing well, but all that stuff –- and rightly so –- there’s a protocol you go through,” Kelly said. “But he says he feels good, so we’ll see how it goes as the week progresses.”

Vick is continuing to rehab his hamstring injury but said last week he fears he might face a long-term layoff.

Kelly said Vick was at the NovaCare Complex Monday morning and met with the trainers and team physician Peter DeLuca, but Kelly said he didn’t talk to Vick.

Vick has been participating on a limited basis in practice, and Kelly said he won’t really be able to measure Vick’s progress until he sees him on the field.

“Michael did work out before the game and said he feels like he’s moving in the right direction, so it’ll be interesting to see where he is from a standpoint of coming in here and running out here a little bit [Tuesday] morning and see how that goes.”

If both Vick and Foles are out for Sunday, Barkley would make his first NFL start.

“Anybody else out there?” Kelly asked.

If Foles and Vick are both out, the Eagles would have to sign a quarterback, and the two obvious candidates are G.J. Kinne and Dennis Dixon, who were with the team in the preseason.

Kinne is out of football and could sign to either the practice squad or the 53-man roster.

Dixon is on the Bills’ practice squad, so if the Eagles were to sign him they’d have to add him to the 53 and keep him there at least three weeks (or pay him for three weeks).

It would be virtually impossible for a quarterback who hasn’t been with the team at all to come in at this point.

“I’m not a scenario guy,” Kelly said. “We know exactly where Matt has to be, where Nick has to be and where Mike has to be, and then we’ll make a decision.”

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