Rookie Nick Foles will not only be the Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback on Sunday at Washington, he could be in the lineup for at least a few games.
Michael Vick, who suffered a concussion last Sunday against Dallas, has yet to make even minor progress. Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder indicated he may not be fit to play football again for a while.
"He's just not the Michael Vick that I know when he's healthy," Burkholder said Friday in quotes provided by the team. "He just does not have that energy, is not very alert. He's tired all the time and he's slept a lot. He's not getting rid of the fatigue."
Burkholder added that Vick is also still suffering from a headache.
Vick did not even report to the NovaCare Complex until Thursday and left after receiving treatment for about two hours. He took an IMPACT test on Friday, the first in a series of physical and mental exams a player must undergo after suffering a concussion, and registered under his baseline, Burkholder said.
The next step is to take a four-phase exercise program to test his strength, endurance and balance, but Burkholder indicated he is not even close to being healthy enough to start that part of the NFL post-concussion program. Vick would ultimately have to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can play again.
"He has too many symptoms for us to even exercise him," Burkholder said.
Vick will not make the trip to Washington. He has been ordered to stay home and rest. While his vision has cleared up, he is still sensitive to light and sudden movements. Burkholder told him to avoid any exercise and even playing video games this weekend.
This is Vick's second concussion in as many seasons. He also suffered one at Atlanta last year, but played the following Sunday. This concussion, which coach Andy Reid termed "significant" earlier in the week, could sideline him for a while.
"You just don't know and that's why you don't judge and that's why you don't speculate with the coaches about when he might return," Burkholder said. "It's not fair to him and it's not fair to them. You just have to take it day by day. That's the best way. None of us will do anything crazy and he won't have pressure on him and all that kind of stuff."
Foles, the Eagles' third-round draft pick from the University of Arizona, will become the first rookie quarterback to start a regular-season game for the Eagles since Donovan McNabb in 1999.
Foles made his NFL debut in relief of Vick against the Cowboys. He threw for 219 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and lost a fumble - both resulting in Dallas touchdowns - in a 38-23 loss.
Foles is expected to play better this week, having taken all the reps with the first-team offense in practice. They practiced on Thursday inside the their domed practice field and had noise piped in to simulate the FedEx Field crowd on Sunday.
"I learned a lot from the last game," Foles said earlier this week. "Things happen when you least expect it. We had two costly turnovers and you can't do that. I just have to remind myself to play fast and play within myself.
"We have a lot of great guys on this team and great coaches. We just have to continue to stick together, work together and play as hard as we can for one another."
Trent Edwards, 29, will serve as Foles' backup against the Redskins. Edwards played in 37 NFL games, including 33 starts, with Buffalo and Jacksonville, but was out of the league last season.
"Not playing all last year really made me appreciate things more," Edwards said earlier this week. "It's just fun to be a part of all this again. It's funny, but I still get butterflies before every game. I haven't played yet this year, but I still prepare all week as if I'm going to be out there. I always have to be ready and prepared. That's the mindset of a quarterback."
Extra points: Wide receiver Jason Avant (strained hamstring) will not play on Sunday, leaving wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as the emergency quarterback behind Foles and Edwards. ... Eagles guard Danny Watkins was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report with chronic ankle soreness. Coach Andy Reid has yet to decide who will be on the offensive line. ... Wide receiver Marvin McNutt, a member of the Eagles' practice squad, played the role of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in practice this week.
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