The idea of Michael Vick returning to the Philadelphia Eagles next year seems far-fetched. If he wants to come back, he's likely to have to accept a drastically reduced salary and either a backup role or a training camp competition with Nick Foles for the starting quarterback job. And with Andy Reid looking as though he'll be out as head coach, there's no way for Vick or anyone else to forecast what will happen with the Eagles in 2013.
However, if he is on his way out, it looks as though Vick will get one more chance to start and win a game for the Eagles. Foles, the rookie who has started the past six games while the Eagles try to evaluate him as a part of their future, broke his right hand in Sunday's loss to the Redskins. And while he somehow finished the game and nearly tied it at the end of the fourth quarter, Foles will not play this week, Reid announced Monday.
It's likely that Vick, who wasn't even active Sunday even though he's been cleared to return from the concussion that sidelined him earlier in the season, will get the Week 17 start against the New York Giants over Trent Edwards. The Eagles have won eight of their past nine games against the Giants, who need to win Sunday (and get help from other games' results) in order to reach the playoffs. Vick was the quarterback when the Eagles beat the Giants in September in Philadelphia, but he lost to them in Philly last year and backup Vince Young led the Eagles to victory in MetLife Stadium.
As for Foles, this obviously robs the Eagles of one game's worth of their chance to evaluate his long-term prospects. But it also puts Sunday's game in a different light. Foles made some pretty bad throws in the second half of that game, including missing an open Jeremy Maclin in the end zone for what would have been the game-tying touchdown. The fact that his throwing hand was broken obviously mitigates that and will factor into the coaches' evaluation. I think Foles has shown some good signs, especially in terms of pocket mobility and patience on third down. But I don't know how the Eagles can know for sure, based on what they've seen, that he's a guy on whom they can hang their future. Once the head coaching position is addressed, I have to believe the Eagles will explore options at quarterback this offseason, even if it's just for depth and camp competition.