Chip Kelly officially names Nick Foles starter for remainder of season
When Eagles head coach Chip Kelly announced his starting quarterback for the rest of the season coming off the bye, no one was surprised it will be Nick Foles — least of all Michael Vick.
Kelly said Tuesday he sat down with both quarterbacks and he will stick with Foles for the final five games of the season. Kelly said Vick is healthy and could play, but was understanding of the decision.
“Those guys understand how this thing is put together, in that the same thing that I told Nick in August is the same thing I told Mike today,” Kelly said. “He’s a chinstrap away from having to go in again. We need to get him back up. The big thing with Mike is that he’s missed a fair amount of time here, so we’ve got to get him back up to speed.”
Vick has been dealing with a hamstring injury much of the season. He originally pulled his right hamstring Oct. 6 against the Giants. He missed the next two games against the Buccaneers and Cowboys, but returned for the second Giants game on Oct. 27 only to reinjure himself. Vick said he’d “never had a hamstring injury this bad” at the time.
Meanwhile, Foles stepped in against the Raiders on Nov. 3 and tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s continued that hot streak with two more wins against Green Bay and Washington heading into the bye week.
“He’s doing a great job of protecting the football and not putting us in bad situations,” Kelly said. “When we have a shot and can take it down the field, he’s proven that he can do that. He’s got a great command of what we’re doing and he’s a lot more comfortable with what we’re doing. It’s just kind of an ongoing process for him.”
Foles has 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. His 78.2 QBR is third only to fellow injury replacement Josh McCown of the Bears (81.0) and the Broncos’ Peyton Manning (79.4).
Vick, who could well be in his final few months with the team, did not take issue with the decision, according to Kelly. Vick signed a three-year deal prior to the 2013 season, but only the first year was guaranteed at up to $10 million.
“They understand the situation and Mike wants to contribute any way that he can,” said Kelly. “That’s the type of guy that he is. He’s a great teammate and great leader and he’s been great for Nick over the games that he’s been out in terms of helping him develop.”
The Eagles are currently tied with Dallas for first in the NFC East at 6-5. They host the Cardinals on Sunday.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.