Vick won't rule out being healthy enough to play

DAVID SWANSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Vick says he feels about '50 to 60 percent' healthy as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
DAVID SWANSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Vick says he feels about '50 to 60 percent' healthy as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
Posted: October 11, 2013

MICHAEL VICK and Chip Kelly sketched a scenario yesterday in which they're on the field during warmups Sunday at Tampa, determining whether Vick can start against the Bucs.

Generally, decisions on starting quarterbacking are made earlier than that, and if you read between the lines of Vick's responses yesterday, he did not sound like a man who will bound onto the field and demand the opportunity to lead the Eagles to victory. Since Vick is 33, and this is the sixth game of 16, it would seem to be a gamble to play him a week after he strained his left hamstring.

Asked whether it's important to be 100 percent, Vick said: "Yeah, it's important to be 100 percent. With this type of injury, if you do anything out of the ordinary, you can prolong the recovery process, so I'm just trying to make sure I'm being smart about it, and the training staff is [trying to do that], as well."

Later yesterday, Vick said on 94WIP that he is "50 to 60 percent."

"To say I can go on Sunday, I can't sit here and make that type of statement," Vick said in his news conference. "The thing I can say is that it's getting better, each and every day. If I had to? Yeah."

When a questioner said it sounded as if he was leaning toward not playing Sunday, Vick said: "I can't answer that question. We'll see on Sunday . . . I think the trainers will make that determination, once they evaluate me before the game."

Kelly said before practice: "We'll see how it is as we go into it. We're never going to put Mike in harm's way, and we're always going to do what's best for the team. The good thing is that we still have 3 full days."

Vick characterized yesterday's practice as "another day of progress, just working to stretch it out and be able to run and not feel anything . . . I did a lot at practice today. In and out of team drills. I did some scout team, did a lot of moving around, a lot more than I did yesterday."

Vick said the "knot" he has described in his hamstring is "still in there, but I'm working it out."

"Every day, it gets better and better," he said. "Today was another steppingstone . . . I'm looking forward to getting back real soon."

Asked whether he's preparing as if he is going to play, Vick said: "I'm preparing as if I'm going to play. I prepare every week as if I'm going to play."

Vick said he thinks, given the improvement he's experienced this week, that he should be able to quarterback the Eagles against the Cowboys next week, if he can't go in Tampa.

Kelly reiterated that he sees Foles as an NFL starter.

"If the opportunity presents itself Sunday, I'm excited to see Nick out there," Kelly said.

Foles said he's ready and he thinks he has grown as a QB since beating the Bucs in Tampa, 23-21, last Dec. 9.

"The guys really fought that game," Foles said. "That's something I'll always remember, is we fought to the end and it worked out."

Chip Kelly said yesterday would be a big practice day for Patrick Chung, sidelined since the Kansas City game with a shoulder problem. Chung said afterward he was able to do everything, but he shied away from declaring he will play Sunday.

"It feels better, man . . . I don't make those decisions," Chung said.

Chung didn't want to venture into what defensive coordinator Bill Davis meant when he called Chung's injury "unique."

Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher broke up three long Eli Manning heaves last week. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis said: "The thing that jumped out at me about Fletcher is how calm he was at the ball. You know, there's an art to playing the deep ball, and a lot of it is a calm confidence that you're running with a guy, you're in a good position, and then there's a timing of when to look back for the ball - a lot of guys panic, and, at that point, and they don't know when to look back, and there's all kinds of contact."

Fletcher talked about that yesterday: "When you're playing long balls, you've got to be relaxed in running underneath the ball, and when it gets there, it's a timing thing. I didn't get there too early for any interferences, I was there when the ball got there," he said.

Chip Kelly said he knew what rookie quarterback Matt Barkley acknowledged this week - that in the spring and even in training camp, Barkley was still recovering from shoulder surgery last season. Kelly said Barkley's arm has gotten stronger . . . Corner Brandon Boykin said his groin problem is of no consequence. He was a full practice participant yesterday. Punter Donnie Jones was a limited participant, but Jones said he'll be fine for Sunday. Jones said he bruised the top of his kicking foot in warmups at the Giants, when he hit the point of the ball instead of the much wider, softer middle part.

On Twitter: @LesBowen


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