By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chip Kelly knows Nick Foles will be his starting quarterback on Sunday in Oakland. That’s all the information the coach will give about the future of the position.
After being cleared to practice on Tuesday, Foles will start against the Raiders this weekend. Kelly liked what he saw from Foles on the field and Foles will continue to practice with the first team offense throughout the week.
“Nick did really well,” said Kelly. “I know he was cleared, but just because he was cleared we needed to see him out. I hadn’t really had a chance to visit with him, to watch him out on the field, but I was really happy with how Nick practiced.”
Michael Vick will not play this weekend. An MRI showed no further damage to Vick’s hamstring, but there is no timetable for his return. When asked about playing his quarterbacks based on who might be the best option in the future, Kelly emphatically stressed he is only focused on each week’s game.
“It’s about beating Oakland,” Kelly said. “That’s it. It’s a one‑week season and that’s all it is. Last week, it was about beating the Giants. Our mentality is who are we playing right now, and I think it’s a disservice to those other players on the team and it’s a disservice to our fans if I’m thinking about who our quarterback is going to be next year. I’m thinking about beating who we’re playing this week. We’re playing the Oakland Raiders, and that’s it. That’s the deal.”
No matter who is at quarterback for the Eagles, the Birds must find a way to get their running game going. LeSean McCoy was shut down by the Cowboys and Giants the past two weeks and he knows he has a bullseye on his back when he takes the field.
“The main focus when trying to stop this team is stopping the run,” said McCoy. “Teams are coming in here and trying to stop the run. The passing game is secondary.”
The Raiders were expected to struggle this season, but they are a respectable 3-4 and are coming off a victory over Pittsburgh last week. Oakland Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is a threat as both a runner and a thrower. Last week, he rushed for a 93-yard touchdown against the Steelers and Eagles Linebacker DeMeco Ryans knows the defense must find a way to contain Pryor.
“We’re definitely focused on him a lot this week,” Ryans said. “We know that he’s a big time playmaker for their team. He gets their team going. He’s their guy. We know we have to stop him.”
With Vick sidelined, Matt Barkley will serve as Foles’ backup this weekend.