Kelly: Vick health to factor in Eagles QB call

Updated: October 14, 2013, 3:26 PM ET

Phil Sheridan |

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles coach Chip Kelly took plenty of questions about the team’s quarterback situation Monday. He wasn’t as generous with answers.

A day after he appeared to leave the door open for Nick Foles to remain the starting quarterback in place of the injured Michael Vick, Kelly kept that door ajar.

“Depends on where we are from a health standpoint,” Kelly said. “Until we know what the health is, I’m not saying what anybody is.”

Kelly said after Sunday’s 31-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he would “evaluate everything” in deciding whether Foles or Vick starts against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7. On Monday, he reeled that back in a bit.

“I was talking about Michael’s health,” Kelly said. “That’s what we’re going to evaluate. All my decisions are made — whether it’s James Casey with a groin or Mike a hamstring or Chris Polk with a shoulder — all our decisions on who’s going to play are based on health.”

That is, of course, not the case. Casey and Polk are backups who barely see the field when they’re healthy. Kelly, like every coach, decides who starts, who dresses and who is inactive based on a number of factors. Health is just one of them.

Vick injured his left hamstring in the first half of the Oct. 6 game against the New York Giants. He was a limited participant in practice early last week but was listed as a full participant in Friday’s lighter session. The Eagles listed Vick as questionable on their official injury report.

He was active Sunday, but that’s because Casey, the emergency quarterback, was out with a groin injury. Rookie Matt Barkley was active for the first time this season and likely would have gone in if Foles had been injured. Vick was dressed, Kelly said, in case he was needed to finish the game because of injuries to the other quarterbacks.

In discussing Sunday’s game, Kelly gave mixed signals on the status of his quarterbacks. Asked about Riley Cooper‘s four-catch, 120-yard game, Kelly seemed to indicate that Foles did a better job of finding the 6-foot-3 wide receiver.

“Riley’s been open a lot,” Kelly said. “We just haven’t thrown the ball to him. When you look at production out of a receiver, we always look at catches and drops. I think we have him for two drops on the season so far. When the ball’s been thrown to Riley, he’s caught it. The ball was thrown to him more on Sunday and he took advantage of it.”

But when the subject of Foles’ effectiveness in the red zone came up, Kelly said he thought that had more to do with improved play calling on his part.

Overall, though, Kelly said Foles was “outstanding” on a day in which he threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns.

“I thought Nick did a really nice job,” Kelly said. “I was really happy with how he performed within our offense. He did a good job of taking what the defense gave us. There were a lot of times where he got us out of some bad plays and got us into some good plays with some decisions he made.”

As for the decision he has to make at quarterback, Kelly again seemed satisfied to let the week play out. If Vick is limited, Foles will take the first-team practice reps.

Kelly said he will monitor “just how does [Vick] run around, how is he in practice, can he execute? Mike’s legs are a big, important part of his game. That’s part of the decision in terms of putting the whole thing together, in terms of where he is and what he can do and what’s his effectiveness.”

  • Spent past decade as sports columnist
    at Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Philadelphia native has covered Eagles
    in various roles since 1985

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