Number five returned to practice today with the Birds and should be the starting quarterback on Sunday against the Giants. Mathematically speaking, the Eagles are not eliminated from the playoff hunt just yet, but realistically, most fans don't believe the team will get there.
This leads to the question of what the final four games of the season will mean to McNabb, the Eagles, and the rest of the league. McNabb will go out and play his tail off as does every single time he takes the field. Nobody questions this. What I want to know is whether McNabb will be, in a sense, auditioning for his future. With McNabb set to pull in over $9 million in 2008, his future with the Eagles is as unclear as ever.
ESPN's John Clayton has an interesting take on all of this and suggests that the Eagles should look to Brett Favre as an example and keep McNabb for many more years to come. The only problem with that thought process is the fact that it would seemingly waste the selection of Kevin Kolb. Clayton's opinion doesn't seem to resonate with anyone in Philadelphia. The buzz in Philly is that McNabb is as good as gone once this season is over.
I'm torn on the issue. The final four games will play a big role in my final evaluation and I'll be watching and hoping to see flashes of the Donovan McNabb from yesteryear, from the days when he was a legitimate MVP candidate. These next four games may not have real playoff implications, but everyone around the NFL will be watching.