Michael Vick Shouldn't Start for Eagles Until He's 100 Percent Healthy
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, however, the dual-threat quarterback will likely start this Sunday against the New York Giants, even if he isn't 100 percent healthy:
Michael Vick not yet 100 pct, source said. #Eagles won't really know how close til Wed. Source: He'll likely play even if less than healthy.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 21, 2013
The Eagles are in a bind.
With a record of 3-4 after losing to the hated Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, this team is only one game behind the same Cowboys for the NFC East lead.
Nick Foles appeared to be making Chip Kelly's life difficult after he tossed three touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago. Many wondered if Kelly could possibly turn back to Vick if Foles followed up his fine performance with another in a winning effort against Dallas in Week 7.
But Foles spoke death to that narrative by having an atrocious outing against the Cowboys before leaving the game with what was later determined to be a concussion, as noted by the team on Twitter:
Coach Kelly: QB Nick Foles has a concussion ... Goes into the league protocol.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 21, 2013
Making matters worse for the Eagles, rookie Matt Barkley gave the Cowboys a pick party once he entered the game in Foles' stead, throwing three interceptions.
The reason there was any doubt about Vick starting once he returned healthy in the first place was that he'd struggled badly as a passer for two-plus games before injuring his hamstring. He completed just 46.4 percent of his passes while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions in those games.
But after watching the offense fall apart this past weekend, it's clear that Vick does, in fact, give the Eagles the best chance to win this year.
Which is why he must not come back too early from his hamstring injury. This team needs him to be available down the home stretch. If he is still experiencing a bit of tightness in that hamstring, then an early return could easily aggravate the injury—or worse.
Neither Foles nor Barkley can get Philadelphia back on track to win the NFC East as the long-term starter. However, in the short term, the Eagles would be smart to keep Vick on the bench until his leg is fully healed.
Should the Eagles start Michael Vick if he isn't 100-percent healthy?
The smart move if Foles is ruled out of Sunday's game with his concussion would be to let Barkley start the game and keep Vick as his backup in case of emergency. Philly has Oakland in Week 9 as well, and this team should be able to win both games with Vick on the sideline.
Philly will need Vick at his best to win those games, which means a little caution is warranted concerning his health.
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