Broken hand sidelines Nick Foles; Michael Vick expected to play Sunday

Posted: December 25, 2012

Michael Vick's career in Philadelphia does not yet appear to be finished, and Nick Foles' rookie season has come to an abrupt halt.

The latest twist in the Eagles' quarterback drama came Monday when coach Andy Reid announced that Foles had suffered a hairline fracture in his throwing hand late in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Redskins.

The injury ended Foles' season after six starts.

Vick is expected to take his place Sunday against the New York Giants. Vick, the $100 million quarterback who lost his job after suffering a significant concussion on Nov. 11, has been medically cleared to play. But he was a healthy scratch for Sunday's game against Washington as the Eagles' No. 3 quarterback.

With the Eagles evaluating Foles for next season, Vick said he did not think he would play again this year. But now he knows that Sunday's road game against the Giants could be his final time playing for the Eagles and Reid, who signed Vick in 2009.

"That's more of the reason why I think I should go out there and try to finish with a win," Vick said in a telephone interview from Newport News, Va., where he distributed toys on Christmas Eve to 200 families in his hometown. "You never know what could come out of this game. You never know what I could learn. You never know what I could accomplish. I could go out there and break a record. There's tremendous upside."

Foles suffered the injury at the end of the first half Sunday. He had trouble squeezing the ball at that point but said he felt better after warming up at halftime. Foles played the entire second half with a broken hand, a revelation that could explain some of his poor throws.

"Obviously, by going through this he's a tough kid and never said a word about it," Reid said. "He pushed himself through and did a good job with that part."

In seven games and six starts, Foles completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards and six touchdowns, with five interceptions. He lost three fumbles.

The injury is expected to take about three weeks to heal, so it will have no long-term ramifications other than limiting Foles' 2012 audition to six starts instead of seven. But it will provide one final game for Vick, who is due about $16 million next season and might be released at the end of the season.

In nine games this season, Vick has completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 2,165 yards and 11 touchdowns, with nine interceptions. He also rushed for 307 yards and a touchdown, and lost five fumbles.

The decision to start Vick did not come until Monday because it was believed after the Redskins game that Foles had only a bruise on his right hand. But the team had him undergo an MRI - X-rays of the hand were taken Sunday - and that's how the hairline fracture in the second metacarpal was discovered.

Despite the uncertainty of Vick's future, the quarterback said he does not have anything to prove on Sunday. He said his motivation was more about playing with his teammates again and trying to win a game.

Vick, who has not taken a snap in more than two months, said there is no issue with his health. Reid said that Vick was rusty when he returned to practice two weeks ago but that he had a better week of practice last week. The coach said Vick "deserves that opportunity to play" and called the quarterback on Monday morning to tell him.

"We said the point before was making sure he was healthy and remained healthy, and we had Nick in as the starter," said Reid, who could have started veteran Trent Edwards over Vick. "You've got two veteran players back there, and Michael had been the No. 1 of those veteran players. So this gives him the opportunity to play."

One risk for the Eagles is that they could be on the hook for a $3 million roster bonus if Vick is injured on Sunday.

Coincidentally, Vick was also at a charity event in 2010 when Reid called to tell him he would remain the starter. This call came under different circumstances, however, and the future does not appear as bright as it did then. For a while, it seemed as if developing Foles would be Reid's final task as Eagles head coach. But it may be reuniting with Vick one last time.

"I'm elated to be back out there on the football field," Vick said. "It's a situation where I want to go out there and seize the moment."


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

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