Two days after injuring his left hamstring, Vick was back on the field Tuesday. He threw and jogged, though he didn’t participate in team drills during practice.
”I was surprised I was able to throw and throw with such velocity,” Vick said. ”I feel a lot better than I did on Sunday. Sunday was kind of agonizing. It was tough. It was tough to deal with but I’m glad with where I’m at today.”
Vick left late in the second quarter of Philadelphia’s 36-21 win at the New York Giants after pulling his hamstring running out of bounds on a 13-yard scramble. Nick Foles came in and threw two touchdowns, sparking a debate over who should start for the Eagles (2-3) this week at Tampa Bay (0-4).
If Vick is healthy, he’s the No. 1. But coach Chip Kelly left open the possibility that Foles could win the job if he plays and performs well.
”My expectation is to work great (in practice), get a lot of work in, study the film, and whatever it is on Sunday, I’ll be ready,” Foles said.
Vick was excellent in the first two games, but his production dropped in the next three. He’s thrown for 1,185 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, and has 307 yards rushing and two more scores.
”You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you can’t get back out there for two or three weeks,” Vick said. ”We’re playing it smart. The coaches told me to come out and do whatever I could. I came out and threw the ball just to get a feel for what I could do. I know my body better than anybody else. You don’t want to strain it.
”You don’t want to do anything to make the injury worse.”
Foles has 246 yards passing, three scores, zero interceptions and a 122.4 passer rating in parts of two games. A third-round pick last year, Foles was 1-5 as a starter last season after Vick sustained a concussion in November. His only win was on the road against the Buccaneers.
”It’s kind of disheartening when you can’t be out there and playing,” Vick said. ”But the good thing is we’ve got a good backup who will be able to step in and do a great job with this team, and we’ve got a lot of players who believe in themselves and each other.
”So, that’ll take us a long way.”
The biggest difference between Vick and Foles besides mobility is efficiency in the red zone. Vick is 5 for 19 for 38 yards and one score inside the opponents’ 20. Foles is 2 of 3 for 11 yards and two touchdowns.
”When you look at it, there’s not quite large enough sample size to see any trends,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. ”I just think it’s a mixture of things. We can’t have penalties. We’ve got to do a better job of throwing and catching, and then of course in critical areas in the field, we’ve got to do a better job protecting.”
After snapping a three-game losing streak to AFC West opponents, the Eagles are tied for first place with Dallas in a weak NFC East in which the teams are 5-14 combined. The Eagles already won at Washington and at New York, and host Dallas in two weeks.