October 14 Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Smallwood:
“OFFICIALLY, it is not official because Eagles coach Andy Reid has not ruled out Michael Vick has the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Still, if Vick still can’t practice today because he remains too sore from the damaged cartilage in his ribs, be assured, Kevin Kolb will be behind center for the second consecutive week.
Reid said Vick is still his starting quarterback, and since he is the guy in charge, he is the only one who can create or re-create a quarterback controversy.
But starting Kolb Sunday is the smart thing to do.
Vick hasn’t taken a snap since he was injured in the first quarter of the game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 3.
According to Reid, Vick has added “a little bit of lifting into the rehab process. He’s not throwing yet.”
Vick hasn’t thrown a football in earnest in 10 days, though he said yesterday he is throwing some.
I understand the gamesmanship Reid is playing with the Falcons.
There is no need to take Vick out of the equation right now.
As long as the possibility remains that their former quarterback will take the field, the Falcons must pay some kind of attention to that scenario. At the worst, that benefits the Eagles, because it ties up a bit of the Falcons’ preparation time.
But in the real world, we can say Kolb will start Sunday.
It’s the only thing that makes sense, especially if Vick doesn’t practice today.
The Eagles are 3-2 and headed into a critical game with the Falcons (4-1).
If the Birds win, they will, at the minimum, remain tied for the NFC East lead. Depending on other scenarios, they could end up tied for the best record in the NFC.
There’s too much on the line to gamble that Vick can walk off the sideline and be back in form, having little to no practice time.
Even Reid knows that would not be in the best interest of the Eagles or Vick.
“I’d just have to see,” Reid said when asked whether he would start Vick without any practice time if he appeared to be healthy on Sunday. “I probably wouldn’t go in that direction.”
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