That doesn’t mean, however, that there is no way for backup Nick Foles to play his way into the job.
“We’re always going to compete and make sure the best guys are on the field,” Kelly said after Foles replaced the injured Vick and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes Sunday in Philadelphia’s 36-21 victory against the New York Giants.
Kelly said Vick, who left Sunday’s game late in the second quarter after suffering a hamstring injury, will start next weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if the veteran quarterback is healthy. He is set to have an MRI on the hamstring Monday.
“It’s frustrating,” Vick said. “I never question why things happen, I never question God. It’s a little sore. I’ve been standing up the last two hours. I need to get treatment. I’ve had this type of injury before.”
Asked if he thinks he’ll be able to play against the winless Buccaneers, Vick said, “I believe so.”
Vick pulled up lame late in the second quarter. He was running around the left end — his seventh carry of the game, including several designed sweeps — and turned upfield.
“I’m just running by myself, just running out of bounds,” Vick said. “I tried to slow down. I think I just took the wrong step.”
Vick remained in the game for three more plays before yielding to the Eagles’ field goal unit. The medical staff worked on him on the sideline as Foles made a few warm-up throws. After the Eagles got the ball back on their own 7-yard line, Vick came back out. But he was chased from the pocket by Jason Pierre-Paul. Vick ran to his left and threw the ball away from his own end zone as Pierre-Paul took him down from behind. That play convinced Kelly that Vick was not mobile enough to remain in the game.
“He wasn’t 100 percent,” Kelly said. “He didn’t look like he was moving well. He didn’t have that step to get out of the way. I have a lot of confidence in Nick. If Nick were to go down, I think Mike could have gone back in.”
Vick finished with seven carries for 79 yards. He wasn’t as successful in the passing game, completing just 6 of 14 for 104 yards.
Foles came in with 1:25 left in the second quarter and took the Eagles from their own 7 to the Giants 18, where Alex Henery kicked a 36-yard field goal as the half ended. Foles completed 7-of-8 passes on the drive for 68 yards.
For the game, Foles completed 16-of-25 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked just once, and his passer rating was 114.9.
Vick won the starting quarterback job in a preseason competition with Foles. Kelly said he didn’t want Vick looking over his shoulder once he was named the No. 1 quarterback. But injuries limited Vick to 23 starts in 2011 and 2012 combined.
“You’d better have two quarterbacks in this league,” Kelly said.
Added Eagles running back LeSean McCoy: “We look it as we have two starting quarterbacks.”
- Spent past decade as sports columnist
at Philadelphia Inquirer
- Philadelphia native has covered Eagles
in various roles since 1985