Eventually Chip Kelly must name a starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Vick losing the job due to injury should not be a factor.
For whatever reason Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly hasn't committed to a starting quarterback either this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys or for the remainder of the season.
One factor that shouldn't be taken into account is that Nick Foles' opportunity to post a 67.2% completion percentage through one and a half games came because Michael Vick suffered a pulled hamstring injury two weeks ago.
The days of a player not losing their job due to injury has come and gone.
Tom Brady took the reigns over from Drew Bledsoe who was having a very solid start of the season before injuring a blood vessel in his chest in week two against the New York Jets. Brady replaced Bledsoe and Bill Belichick never flirted with the idea of going back to the veteran.
Even Vick himself supplanted Kevin Kolb in 2010 after Kolb was concussed by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in week one.
In the modern NFL loyalty is tossed out the window in favor of results and in every opportunity, Foles has produced results.
Vick won the starting job fair and square in a legitimate quarterback competition that lasted through spring practices and training camp. But, since opening night against the Washington Redskins the 33-year old has regressed in virtually every category.
Vick's completion percentage is 13 points lower than Foles and he is 5-19 passing in the red zone while completing the fewest third down passes for first down in the league and his completion percentage on passes five yards or shorter has diminished each week since the Redskins opener.
Meanwhile with Foles under center the Eagles red zone efficiency has jumped. Foles averages 8.9 yards per completion and any concern about the run game must be erased after the running backs averaged over 5.5 yards per carry against a stingy Buccaneers defense that entered Sunday ranked eighth in the league.
Here's the kicker: Sunday was the first game all season that the Eagles didn't drop a pass.
If Kelly has any decision to make here, it should be based purely on results and right now the offense simply runs more fluidly with the 24-year old Foles under center than it does the 12-year veteran Vick.
"I'll let coach Kelly make that determination," Vick said Tuesday when asked if he should be given his job back when healthy. "I won't focus on what could be or what should be. Right now I just gotta get myself back to 100% so I can go out there and help this team if I am out there on the field."
There are few quarterbacks in this league that deserve a season to prove themselves regardless of health concerns and earned loyalty from their coaches. The Peyton Mannings, Brady's, Drew Brees', Ben Roethlisbergers and even Eli Mannings of the world are in that class. Vick simply hasn't accomplished enough or won enough games in his career to reside in that exclusive club.
Even Kelly is noncommittal after initially endorsing Vick as his starter following the win over New York.
“All of our decisions are based on what’s going to give us the best opportunity to win. We have to put healthy guys on the field and make sure we can get a scheme together that’s going to help us beat the Cowboys. That’s all we’re talking about. I don’t see any divisions or one side going one way or one side going the other. Mike wasn’t 100 percent on Sunday and Nick did an outstanding job.”
Hardly a ringing endorsement for the quarterback who started the season.
Beyond the scope of a season where the division race has fallen into the Eagles laps, there is a legitimate chance that Foles could develop into the quarterback of the future for this franchise if he continues to execute Kelly's efficiency and accuracy based offense as he has the past two games.
Vick has zero chance of being the future at age 34 or beyond.
In that event, Kelly would be spared the draft roulette of finding a franchise quarterback and could use as many high draft choices as possible rebuilding a defense that is currently ranked 32nd in the league.
Kelly has the chance now to evaluate Foles while Vick is injured, it's quite a convenience for the first-year coach. But even once Vick is healthy, the choice is clear who should finish the season under center.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.
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