By Kevin McGuire
Michael Vick will be unavailable for the Philadelphia Eagles as the team looks to snap a losing streak against the Washington Redskins this weekend. Still recovering form a concussion suffered against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, Vick has been ruled out for the NFC East contest, which will now have rookie Nick Foles make his first career start.
“With this process, the first thing we look at is whether he has symptoms,” Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Friday afternoon when explaining the concussion evaluation of Vick. “He’s had a headache, which has gotten better during the week. He’s foggy. He’s not very alert right now in terms of he just doesn’t have that energy. He’s tired all the time, he’s slept a lot, and he’s not getting rid of that fatigue. I would consider him heavy eyed. When I talk to him, he’s just not the Michael Vick that I know when he’s healthy.”
After leaving last week’s game it was doubtful Vick would be available this weekend. The latest injury report just makes that official. Foles has been preparing for the starting duties on Sunday all week by taking the reps with the first team offense. This should allow him to be a little more comfortable with the taks at hand, as opposed to coming in cold off the bench against a blitz-happy Dallas.
“We’ve been working hard all week and going through the plays, going through he game plan, studying the plan, so just really in myself, trusting my teammates,” Foles said Friday. “There are 10 other guys out there with me playing. We’re all playing together.”
The loss of Vick highlights a number of losses for the Eagle son this week’s injury report. Wide receivers Jason Avant and Mardy Gilyard and running back Chris Polk have all been ruled out for this weekend’s game after missing practices all week. The depth of the Eagles at skill positions could be in further harm with receiver Jeremy Maclin listed as probable with a mild back injury. Maclin, who deflected some negative reactions earlier in the week, participated in full practices all week. Riley Cooper is also listed as probable after getting in his first reported full practice of the week in on Friday.
Offensive line depth could receive a mild boost this week but Danny Watkins is only listed as questionable for Sunday with a nagging ankle injury. On defense the Eagles will hope to get the most out of banged up linebackers Akeem Jordan and Mychal Kendricks. Each took part in full practices this week and should be ready to go Sunday in Washington against mobile quarterback Robert Griffin III. Free safety Kurt Coleman, who has had back problems at times this season, took part in a full practice schedule this week and should be available for Sunday.
- Jason Avant, wide receiver (hamstring)
- Mardy Gilyard, wide receiver (hamstring)
- Chris Polk, running back (toe)
- Michael Vick, quarterback (concussion)
- Kurt Coleman, free safety (back)
- Danny Watkins , guard (ankle)
- Riley Cooper, wide receiver (knee)
- Akeem Jordan, outside linebacker (thumb)
- Mychal Kendricks, linebacker (foot)
- Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver (back)
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Kevin McGuire covers college football for Examiner.com and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter (@KevinOnCFB). His work can be found on Examiner.com.