Guys in front of Foles just as important

November, 14, 2012
11/14/12
2:20
PM ET
So Nick Foles is taking the first-team reps and preparing to start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Washington. Michael Vick and his concussion were nowhere to be found today at practice. Foles as Sunday's starter appears a foregone conclusion, and some are happy about this, others are not and everybody seems to want to break down what kind of player Foles is, was and will be.

Fair enough, but let me focus for a brief moment on something else that came up at the Eagles' facility today. Right guard Danny Watkins, who's missed the past few games with an ankle injury, is apparently feeling better and practicing again as a starter. Dennis Kelly, who started in Watkins' place, was working some today at right tackle, with King Dunlap over at left tackle.

This may feel like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, this shuffling of backup-quality offensive linemen from position to position, but it goes to show how desperate the Eagles are to finally win a game after losing their last five in a row. Whether Foles plays like a jittery rookie or a poised veteran or a little of each Sunday, his chances for success could be thoroughly poisoned by the play of an offensive line that's operating without at least three of its starting players. The Eagles' coaches must find the right combination on the line, and they haven't found it yet. The fact that Foles throws right-handed means he has a different blind side than the lefty-throwing Vick, and that could factor into the way the Eagles arrange their line this week.

Expect more information on this, more changes as the week goes along, and for the Eagles' coaches to put a great deal of very careful thought into which five linemen start Sunday and at which spots. Foles' future and the Eagles' present may rest on whether they get that right.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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