PHILADLEPHIA - Eagles coach Andy Reid is still harboring hope that quarterback Michael Vick will be able to recover from his concussion in time to play against Washington Sunday.
Reid refused to rule him out on Wednesday, even though Vick remained home and has yet to even begin taking the tests required by the NFL to receive medical clearance to play.
"I'm taking him right through the protocol that you normally do," Reid said. "It's important that you do that and that's how we're doing it. His headache has subsided quite a little bit. He's feeling a little bit better in that area. We're taking it day be day and making sure we evaluate him. The main thing for him now is to just rest."
Vick's status for Sunday's game against the Redskins will depend upon his ability to pass a variety of cognitive and physical exams this week. He first has to have a CT scan of his brain. Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder and his staff will be measuring Vick's ability to retain and recall information while also conducting a series of cardio, strength and balance exercises. Finally, Vick must also be cleared by an indepedent neurologist in accordance with the NFL concussion policy adopted three years ago.
Vick was not at the NovaCare Complex Wednesday, but wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said he spoke to him Tuesday. "He seemed OK," Maclin said. "I certainly don't know if he'll be ready to play this week. We talked about a lot of personal stuff, but he was fine. He wasn't in 'la-la land' or anything like that."
Vick is considered a longshot, however, meaning that rookie Nick Foles will likely make his first career start against the Redskins.
Foles, who made his NFL debut in relief of Vick against the Cowboys, will become the first Eagles rookie quarterback to start a regular-season game since Donovan McNabb in 1999.
"I'm ready, I'm excited to just play again," Foles said after practice Wednesday. "Like I said before, all of my prayers are with Mike. I want Mike to be healthy. Mike's the leader of this team. He's the quarterback. I'm going to do my job right now until he gets healthy. It's my job to go out there and do everything I can for this team and help in any way possible.
In other news, Danny Watkins will start at right guard after being sidelined for three games with a mysterious ankle injury. Dennis Kelly will work with Demetress Bell and King Dunlap at tackle. There's a chance that newcomer Jake Scott could also get some action against the Redskins.
"I usually play right guard, but my job is to fit in wherever they need me," Scott said. "I have to be ready this Sunday in case they need me."