Eagles rookie Nick Foles expected to start for an injured Michael Vick

Nick Foles had an uneven game against Dallas after Michael Vick was hurt. But coach Andy Reid complimented the QB for "keeping his eyes down the field when he was under pressure." YONG KIM / Staff
Nick Foles had an uneven game against Dallas after Michael Vick was hurt. But coach Andy Reid complimented the QB for "keeping his eyes down the field when he was under pressure." YONG KIM / Staff (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: November 13, 2012

Michael Vick suffered what Eagles coach Andy Reid labeled a "pretty significant" concussion on Sunday, an injury that will likely sideline the Eagles quarterback for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Rookie Nick Foles is expected to start.

Although Reid did not rule Vick out for this Redskins game, he emphasized the severity of the concussion. Fans have clamored for Foles to play since the preseason, and his first start will come with the Eagles at 3-6 and the season fading toward irrelevancy. Reid did not name Foles the full-time starter.

"I'm just telling you Michael is hurting right now. Nick is going to step in and be the quarterback until that point comes, and we'll take it all from there," Reid said. "Listen, I can't project the future. I'm just telling you what I'm telling you. Mike is the quarterback. Nick comes in, and he is a relief pitcher and does his thing."

Vick earned the starting job in 2010 when Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion. Reid made similar statements about Kolb's job security, but Vick usurped Kolb with exceptional play.

Two seasons later, the situation is different. If the Eagles win with Foles at quarterback, Reid would have reason to keep the rookie as the top quarterback. And if they continue losing with Foles at quarterback, it might be counterproductive to start a 32-year old who is not guaranteed to be in Philadelphia next season over a 23-year old who could potentially become a long-term solution for the Eagles.

"I take a little more optimistic approach to that," Reid said. "If Nick ends up playing, then he's the quarterback - and he goes in, and he plays and he wins football games."

Reid said Vick suffered the injury on his final play from scrimmage in the second quarter of Sunday's 38-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, although it appeared Vick endured a few hard hits on Sunday. Reid said Vick was "a little foggy" during the game and had headaches on Monday morning. Vick stayed at home and communicated with team trainer Rick Burkholder. The team is following concussion protocol.

"One of the things that is important is that he gets rest," Reid said.

Foles entered the Cowboys game without taking any first-team reps during practice and completed nearly 69 percent of his passes for 219 yards and one touchdown. He also threw an interception and fumbled the ball in the end zone.

After reviewing the film, Reid complimented Foles for "keeping his eyes down the field when he was under pressure," which is an important attribute while playing with a depleted offensive line.

Foles refused to use his lack of practice as an excuse after the game, dismissing the idea that his interception would have been a more accurate pass had he been able to develop better timing with wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

But practice time will clearly benefit Foles, especially for preparing to play on the road. Two of his three preseason starts came on the road, but the crowds and disguised defenses during the preseason pale to what Foles will experience on Sunday against the Redskins. That's why Reid emphasized how important it was for Foles to work on the silent snap count this week.

Vick's status is not expected to linger throughout the week. Reid believed that the team would have a definitive answer on Vick's status in the next few days and said Foles will take all the first-team quarterback snaps on Wednesday. Expect Foles to do the same on Sunday, and Reid might encounter a quarterback controversy that he's tried to avoid this season.

"Michael is our quarterback, so I don't want to slight that part," Reid said. "At the same time, I've got confidence that Nick will do a nice job if given that opportunity. Listen, I get excited for every game, but if the kid has an opportunity to start, I'm excited to see him play."

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Eagles Rewind, D2.

Foles' first game, broken down on film. Inside the Eagles, D3.

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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