Michael Vick or Nick Foles: Who Should the Philadelphia Eagles Start in Week 11?

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) and quarterback Michael Vick (7) during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 27 - 6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE
Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

There's nothing good about concussions, but at least the one Michael Vick suffered Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys might keep Andy Reid from having to make a decision regarding who will be his starting quarterback in Week 11 and beyond. 

Vick, of course, will have to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he's allowed to practice, let alone play. But for what it's worth, he was able to return one week after suffering a concussion last season. Reid has already suggested that Vick is the starter if healthy

That shouldn't surprise anyone. Based on Foles' performance Sunday in relief of Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles have a better shot at winning games right now with No. 7 under center. With Reid's job dangling by a thread, he's going to go with the signal caller that gives him the best chance to revive this team between now and Dec. 30.

The franchise would be better off accepting at this point that the playoffs are probably a lost cause, and that this is the perfect opportunity to find out if Foles is the special player we saw in August or just another third-round rookie out of Arizona

Foles has had half a season on the sideline, giving him ample time to prepare for this opportunity. The Eagles are too talented to enter 2013 without a quarterback they know and trust, and they can't fully know or trust Foles without getting a look at him against first-team defenses.

They already know what they have in Vick, his résumé is full and his portfolio is substantial. He's only due $3 million in guaranteed money following this season, which means the Eagles should be considering all of their options. Since franchise quarterbacks don't exactly hijack the free-agent pool or trade market every year, there's a chance it'll come down to Vick vs. Foles early in calendar year 2013. 

None of this will matter if the Mayans were right, but it'll matter just as little if Foles doesn't get an opportunity to prove himself. If Vick gets healthy this week and the Eagles go with him the next seven games, they'll almost be forced to pay him the $16 million he's due next season. They'll have to make that decision by Feb. 6, and they'd be insane to enter 2013 with an unproven second-year quarterback. They'd risk wasting the immense talent on this roster yet again.

I'm not saying Foles has to start all seven remaining games, especially if he's not delivering but we can draw some conclusions in a few weeks. Vick's concussion gives Reid and the coaching staff a non-controversial opportunity to make the change for at least a week or two. This can be peaceful and fluid, with nothing set in stone on a weekly basis. 

Maybe Vick is cleared this week and Reid gives him another start or two to get Philadelphia back on track. Maybe Foles doesn't get his shot until after the Eagles are clearly ruled out of playoff contention.

Either way, barring a miraculous run, Foles needs his shot as a starter.