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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Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Phillies corner outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick is finally nearing a return. He'll begin a rehab assignment tonight with Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Kendrick has been out since April 15 with an oblique strain. He did defensive work during the Phillies' road trip and has been taking outdoor batting practice at home this week.

Kendrick was off to a hot start when the oblique injury sent him to the DL. In 10 games, he went 13 for 39 (.333) with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs. He batted second all 10 games.

The Phillies are in a bad offensive funk and could use Kendrick's bat over Michael Saunders' right now. The Phils' 1-2 hitters were among the most productive in the majors in April, hitting close to .350 for the month. They're down to .282 on the season as Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera have slumped in May.

With Clay Buchholz likely out for the season and Saunders providing little offense so far, the Phillies' trio of offseason veteran additions has not panned out through two months.

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

It's only natural to have some reservations about Lane Johnson after he was suspended for 10 games last season for his second violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. One more positive test and the Eagles will lose their starting right tackle for two full years.

Fortunately, Johnson seems determined to avoid any future run-ins with the league. The 27-year-old changed his entire approach this offseason, cutting out negative influences or any other voices at all while preparing for the 2017 season.

"I just trained by myself back in Oklahoma," Johnson said after the Eagles' first full-team practice of OTAs on Tuesday. "Trained by myself and everything went good. I came back, my body weight is about 325, so I'm heavier than I've ever been. I feel in good shape, and I have a lot to prove, so it's a big year for me.

"I did everything by myself. There wasn't going to be any mishaps."

Two suspensions totaling 14 games later, Johnson has gained a healthy fear of being unknowingly steered toward an illegal supplement.

Johnson tested positive for PEDs before the season last year after taking a banned substance known as peptides and was eventually slapped with the full 10-game penalty after a lengthy appeal process. The fifth-year veteran always maintained peptides were not listed on the label of the offending supplement.

Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the players' association in November after the suspension was upheld. Its status is ongoing.

Johnson also served a four-game suspension in 2014.

When he's not in trouble with the league office, Johnson is a vital cog in the Eagles' offense. They went 5-1 with him and 2-8 without him last season.

"I feel like whenever I'm playing, I try to be the best right tackle in the NFL," Johnson said. "My deal is to just stay on the field, play a complete season, and I think it will be a big year for me."

Johnson isn't concerned about losing a competitive edge, physically or mentally, after dropping supplements altogether.

"I've always been the athlete that I am," Johnson said. "That's what I'll continue to prove. I'm gonna go play and show people what I can do."

Signed in January 2016 to a five-year contract extension worth $56 million, Johnson has plenty to prove. He was working out in place of 35-year-old left tackle Jason Peters, who wasn't at the start of OTAs, on Tuesday and is expected to one day replace the nine-time Pro Bowl selection permanently.

Despite his checkered past, it sounds like Johnson knows exactly what's on the line, which is why he chose to go it alone this offseason. The only person you can trust is yourself.

Then again, Johnson still has his vices, which might raise some eyebrows with the news he's up to 325 pounds — eight more than his listed weight.

"My big deal is cutting out the ice cream, the Ben & Jerry's late at night — the stuff you want to indulge in," Johnson said. "If you get me on an ice cream binge, it's not good."

The Eagles can probably deal with a little extra ice cream, just as long as Johnson remains committed to keeping dodgy supplements out of his body.