Other Eagles said Vick took the first-team reps, and that they expect he will start Sunday for the first time since suffering a left hamstring injury in the Oct. 7 game at the Giants. Vick, when prodded, more or less acknowledged as much, after issuing disclaimers about not having fully tested his leg.
Asked if he could play, if the game were held within the next few days, and concussed QB Nick Foles couldn't, Vick said: "Absolutely. Without a doubt."
Then he mock-complained. "Just going to get it out of me right now, huh? Might as well put it all out there right now."
So the questioner asked if Vick plans to start.
"I guess you can't get it out of me right now," he said. "We'll see. I'm optimistic about it."
Vick also said, at another point: "I'm excited about having the opportunity to play this week, if that's what it calls for." And later: "I'm just excited about playing with these guys this week, seeing if I can get myself back to 100 percent, if I can."
Later at his locker, Vick indicated he would be more definitive tomorrow, when he is next scheduled to address the media.
"It was good to get Mike back out there" with the starters, left guard Evan Mathis said. "He seemed like normal Mike to me. But then again, I don't watch him that much, when I'm blocking for him."
Earlier, a source close to Vick indicated the QB would say yesterday that he is playing against the Giants. It's unclear why that didn't quite happen. It could be the team wasn't pleased last Thursday, when Vick declared himself out against the Cowboys a few hours after Eagles coach Chip Kelly said no decision had been made.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles made the Bucs prepare for both Vick and Foles, when there actually was no chance Vick was going to start. Maybe Kelly would like to keep the Giants guessing about whether they'll face Vick or Barkley. If so, he'll need more convincing misdirection from Vick and from Barkley, who did not give the impression he was preparing for his first NFL start.
Vick said his hamstring is "kind of sore, but it's going away, though."
"It's progressed very quickly," he added. "I just don't want to lose sight of what's gotten me to this point."
Vick said it's "too early" to test the hamstring with flat-out running, the kind he was doing against the Giants when he pulled up lame. "I want to be real cautious about it and take it one day at a time and not push it," he said. "I wish I could give you a definite answer" on starting Sunday, "but I can't right now . . . I want to continue with my progress, and not regress."
"At some point this week, I'll test it out and see what it feels like," Vick said.
This leads to the question of what sort of Vick we'll see this weekend, assuming the test goes well and he does indeed play. Vick used the figure "80 percent" in a side conversation with reporters from the Inquirer and Comcast SportsNet. In the previous meeting with the Giants, the Eagles' passing game didn't really get going until Foles took over for Vick (and the Birds' defense started forcing turnovers.) The Eagles held a 16-7 lead when Vick left the game, thanks mainly to his seven runs for 79 yards. Vick completed just six of 14 passes that day, for 105 yards.
The way the Giants defensed the Eagles left no one to account for Vick, and wide-open space in front of him. But it seems unlikely that Vick will be looking to run a lot this week.
"If I'm out there, I'm giving it everything I've got. No holding back. I'm not going to go out in a game and limit myself to what I can do, unless I've really made up my mind to play that way," Vick said.
Vick seemed to be saying he wants to be able to go all-out when he returns - but then he decided to acknowledge the possibility that the team could need him to play even if he can't do that.
A slightly hobbled Vick clearly seems a better option than Barkley, who threw three interceptions in a quarter of work against Dallas in his NFL debut. As offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur noted yesterday, Barkley did some good things, and his much-discussed arm strength wasn't a problem, but inexperience playing at regular-season NFL speed clearly was.
"It hurts and it's really disappointing to watch yourself throw those interceptions" during film review, Barkley said yesterday. "Because you know you're capable of so much more . . . They're easily correctable mistakes . . . Those come with more reps and just time."
Foles wasn't at practice. Shurmur said the second-year QB met with trainers as he navigates the NFL's concussion protocols. It's very unlikely he can pass all the necessary steps, then be cleared by an independent neurologist in time to prepare for the Giants and play this week.
Vick had predicted a big day for Foles against the Cowboys. Asked how it felt to watch Foles and the offense struggle in a 17-3 loss, Vick said: "It's always difficult to watch the offense when it's struggling, your teammates when they're struggling. It makes you hold yourself more accountable . . . I've been there before and I know what it's like. I wish I could've been out there . . . We all have our share of growing pains."
Vick said not being able to help his teammates "is what's eating me up on the inside right now."
On Twitter: @LesBowen