PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will miss Sunday's game vs. the Washington Redskins due to the effects of a concussion.
Rookie Nick Foles, who replaced Vick during the 38-23 loss to Dallas on Sunday, and who practiced with the first team all week, will get his first NFL start in a battle of 3-6 teams fighting to save their seasons.
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid made the announcement Friday at the team's practice facility, confirming a decision that had been in the works since Monday. It was only because Vick had not completed the league-mandated concussion testing earlier in the week, that Reid did not officially rule him out until the team's final practice.
"That was one of his goals, obviously, to stay healthy all season. He's a very considerate guy, and he feels like he lets people down, and his teammates down," Reid said of Vick. "And that's not the case, he's hurt. But he's one of the most competitive, toughest guys I've been around."
Head trainer Rick Burkholder also spoke to the media on the field Friday.
"With concussions, they're all different," Burkholder said. "We needed to take it day by day. His two concussions he's had with us have been different."
Vick, who completed just six passes for 70 yards vs. Dallas, did not practice all week.
"He has too many symptoms for us to even exercise him," Burkholder said. "He's not even close to playing this week."
Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception vs. the Cowboys. Those numbers weren't enough to help the Eagles avoid their fifth straight loss, a first in Reid's 14 seasons.
"He's comfortable with what we've been running," Reid said of Foles. "It's the same things we were doing in training camp. He's good with it."
That said, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has tightened the playbook a bit this week for Foles, a third-round draft pick out of Arizona, who became something of a fan favorite in Philadelphia during an impressive run through the preseason.
"He will see some things that he hasn't seen before, and how he reacts to those things will be key," Mornhinweg said Thursday. "That would be the two biggest things right at the front of my mind that we've talked about."
In a dreary season that has fallen well short of expectations, seeing if Foles can show enough flashes to become a franchise quarterback has put some snap back in the Eagles' year. Foles threw for 553 yards in the preseason, with six touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished with a quarterback rating of 110.1.
"There's quite a bit of excitement, I think, in in this situation because of a couple of things," Mornhinweg said. "Number one, the situation we're in. Can we get it done and make a run here? Secondly, with a rookie quarterback there is certainly some excitement there."
Mornhinweg knew Foles would be a good fit in the Eagles offense, when they scouted him, and was more than happy to see him fall to Philadelphia when he did.
"He's big, has a big arm," Mornhinweg said. "I thought he carried Arizona as best as he could. They really had problems personnel-wise and injury-wise. He's tough, both physically and mentally."
All that said, putting the season in the hands of a rookie — whether it's forced or not — could create more problems. But Reid, as he has throughout this season of discontent, is unfazed.
"I worry about right now. What we can control. What I can control," Reid said. "Anything else you add into that mix is a distraction, and you cannot have that in the National Football League."
Vick has been inconsistent — at best — the last two seasons. After helping to rally the Eagles from a 4-8 start last season with four consecutive victories to close the year, he has thrown for 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season, and compiled a rating of just 79.2.
"He has to get better is what he's got to do right now," Reid said. "That's it. Concentrate on that right now, and that's the most important thing."
As for this weekend, Burkholder said Vick simply needs rest, and the process now will include getting him "in dark, quiet places."
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