Philadelphia Eagles: Not So Fast, Matt Barkley; Nick Foles Cleared to Play

By Bob Francis
Nick Foles
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It looked as though heading into the new week, there would be no controversy, no decision to be made at the quarterback position before the Philadelphia Eagles traveled to play the Oakland Raiders. However, Nick Foles has been cleared to return to the field, after missing this past week with a head injury, taking a gimme-start away from rookie Matt Barkley.

Barkley, the third-string quarterback, has seen spot time over the past two weeks replacing both Foles and Michael Vick during Eagles’ losses. He is gaining some much-needed experience if he is to ever become the guy behind center in Philadelphia, but the season is far from over. With the Eagles still in the hunt in a weak NFC East, despite dropping five games already, it would be hard to see Barkley being given the ball if Foles is cleared and ready.

Prior to his debacle against the Dallas Cowboys, Foles had looked every bit of a starting quarterback. He had an above-average quarterback rating, was running the offense like a well-oiled machine and was protecting the football. His red-zone numbers were ridiculous and the Eagles looked like a different, more dangerous team. It remains to be seen which player will actually show up, but if Foles can return to earlier rather than the later, he could find himself with a permanent job behind center and a chance to write his own future.

At this point, Barkley would be the more questionable decision, but he will definitely see more time as the season wears on if the Eagles continue to drop games and the division picture becomes clearer. For now, if healthy, it would be a mistake not to put Foles behind center.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for  Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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