There isn’t any quarterback confusion this week, and certainly no controversy.
Nick Foles will get the ball for the Eagles on Sunday against the Raiders at O.co Coliseum, head coach Chip Kelly announced Wednesday morning. Matt Barkley will reassume his backup role.
Foles returned to practice Tuesday and split reps with Barkley, nine days after Foles sustained a concussion against Dallas that sidelined him for one game. He looked good enough for Kelly to declare him ready to start.
“Nick did really well,” Kelly said. “I know he was cleared, but just because he was cleared, we really needed to see him. I hadn’t really had a chance to visit with him to get him to watch him on the field, but I was really happy happy with how Nick practiced on the field [Tuesday]
“One of the good things about practicing on Tuesday is that you can kinda get a chance to get your eyes on people that have been out, and Nick was out. Nick did a really good job. Nick is going to be our starting quarterback this week and he’ll take the reps with the ones this week and we’ll get ready as a team to prepare offensively for Oakland.”
Kelly said Foles would take the standard number of first-team reps this week, with Barkley picking up the scraps. Barkley had thrown for 158 yards on 17 of 26 passing in relief of a re-injured Michael Vick against the Giants.
An MRI taken Monday on Vick showed that the quarterback’s hamstring injury from Sunday’s 15-7 loss to the Giants is in the same spot as the one he sustained Oct. 6 at MetLife Stadium in the first showdown against the Giants, Kelly said.
“We’ll see how he goes,” Kelly said. “I don’t anticipate Mike being able to play this week. There’s nothing new from what happened the last time is how it was explained to me.”
By naming Foles as his starter Wednesday, Kelly avoided a repeat of the uncertainty from last week, when he prepared Vick to start but didn’t officially decided on a starter until Friday.
Foles is coming off the worst game of his career, a 17-3 loss to the Cowboys at home in a game that was widely believed to be his opportunity to wrestle the starting job away from Vick. Foles passed for just 80 yards, completed just 11 of 29 throws and compiled a 46.2 passer rating before leaving near the end of the third quarter to be examined for a concussion.
On Tuesday, Foles said one game wouldn’t define his career.
Kelly echoed a similar sentiment and praised Foles’ resilience.
“That’s one of the things about Nick that I love, is that I think there is a resiliency to him,” Kelly said. “I know Nick didn’t play well in the Dallas Cowboys game, but he understands that. I’ve seen Nick play well. I’ve seen Nick come off the bench against the New York Giants (on Oct. 6) without throwing a snap and lead us down the field and we get a field goal and that’s kind of a spur.
“And then we go in at halftime, he plays really well. I see him throw a great pass to Brent Celek [in the second half] with a guy draped on him; he drops it over his outside shoulder for a huge touchdown for us in the Giants game, where it was kind of going back and forth and that may have been a backbreaker in that game.
“I saw him play extremely well in the Tampa Bay game. He did not play well in the Dallas Cowboys game, but Nick wasn’t the only guy who didn’t play well in the Dallas Cowboys game. But I’ve got a ton of confidence in Nick and I’m excited to get back on the the practice field with him.”