Although Philadelphia Eagles starting QB Michael Vick is expected to miss this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hamstring injury he suffered last week against the New York Giants, the Eagles are wisely unwilling to tip their hand. They want to make sure that Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers still have to gameplan for Vick, which is why they allowed him to participate on a limited basis in yesterday’s practice (he did some 7-on-7 work). Chip Kelly stated that he hopes Vick can have a full practice today, and it does seem like Vick’s injury is less significant than we once thought. That said, the Eagles could also just be really good at mind games, and I still expect Nick Foles to end up starting this week.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News’s Les Bowen, Chip Kelly stated that he won’t decided on whether or not to start Michael Vick until Sunday. Even though he said he will figure that out on Sunday morning, that essentially leaves Vick as a game-time decision. Bowen notes that the Eagles will likely know Vick’s status before Sunday, but the Eagles just want to make sure that the Bucs have to gameplan for both Vick and Foles simultaneously. That’s a nice strategic advantage to have on Chip’s part, and I would dub this as a coach’s “game-time decision” in this case.
It sounds like Kelly wants to do everything he can to make sure that Michael Vick is fully healthy, so don’t expect any decision that will cause the Eagles to rush Vick back into action. Even though Vick is a better QB than Foles and has done a really nice job as the starting QB when you look at the raw numbers and tape, the Eagles are comfortable enough with Foles and are wise enough not to risk Vick’s health. Here’s the quote from Chip, ”We’ll see it is as we go into it. We’re never going to put him in harm’s way, and we’re always going to do what’s best for the team. The good thing is, we still have three full days.”