The inevitable has become reality. Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick is hurt.
In the second quarter of Sunday’s classic NFC East duel between the Eagles and bitter rival New York Giants, Vick pulled up lame on the sideline after voluntarily running out of bounds on one of many beautiful scampers. The long-time vet immediately clutched his hamstring, and Philly’s collective heart dropped.
After first attempting to play through the boo-boo, Vick was pulled from the contest and replaced by second-year Eagles QB Nick Foles. As many Eagles’ fans are full-blown Foles-supporters at this point, not everybody was upset to see Vick on the sidelines.
But I’ll tell you one person who certainly wasn’t pleased. And that’s Birds head coach Chip Kelly.
Kelly’s mile-a-minute, wildly lethal spread offense is based around an elusive, mobile quarterback like Vick, and while Foles can certainly sling the ball, he is a statue in the pocket. Calling Foles immobile is a gross understatement, and Kelly knows that better than anybody.
Fortunately for Kelly and the Eagles, Foles filled in brilliantly for Vick, completing 16 of 25 passes for 197 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. While Kelly confirmed that Vick is still his starter when healthy, Foles is expected to start Sunday vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Vick highly questionable for the contest. Many NFL sources believe that Vick will sit out.
Therefore, Kelly will certainly have to tailor his offense to Foles, as the read-option will be useless when the entire defense knows that the lead-legged Foles will not be running.
While the Buccaneers’ defense has proven to be one of the most ferocious units in the league, their offense is incredibly weak, with rookie QB Mike Glennon at the helm following the highly publicized release of former franchise QB Josh Freeman.
I expect Foles to pull out a hard-grinding victory against the Bucs, as he will not have to score many points to beat the 0-4 NFC South doormat.