Mike Vick appears headed for a return Sunday night -- if the Eagles want him under center.
The concussed quarterback has moved into phase four of his recovery and threw the football for the first time since being knocked out two weeks ago. Vick, who didn't play last night against Carolina, is symptom-free. If Vick can get to phase five, which includes real football activity, he might be able to return to practice.
"I'm encouraged at the way he's [going], but like I told you last week, that's not what I get paid to do," head trainer Rick Burkholder said. "If he plays, he plays, and if he doesn't, he doesn't. But he's going to be healthy before he plays."
Vick also has to be cleared by an independent neurologist, as well as Eagles concussion specialist Dr. Gary Dorshimer. While Burkholder sounded optimistic, he warned that it's a day-to-day situation.
"He's still got some criteria to meet. He's got to pass an ImPACT test," Burkholder said.
Nick Foles has started two straight games since Vick went down. With the season spiraling out of control, it might be wise to stick with the third-round rookie and see what he can do. But head coach Andy Reid has maintained that Vick, when 100 percent healthy, is his starting quarterback.
"Michael is the starting quarterback, and that's the way we work it until [he's healthy]," Reid said last week. "Until he gets healthy, then we can't do anything."