Eagles Droppings 10/5: Vick Out 1-2 Weeks?, Garcia Not Coming, Eagles O-line Troubles And McCoy Not Ruled Out Yet
By Lance Epstein
Vick Missing 1-2 Weeks?:
A day after sustain his rib cartilage injury against the Redskins, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick gave an update about his injury. The news was not good as he told WXTG 102.1's The Bruce Smith Show (Virginia Beach) that he is expecting to miss at least this week's game against the 49ers.
"Maybe a week, maybe two weeks. Usually I’m a fast healer, so we’ll have to see," Vick said, "it won't be no more than two weeks, hopefully. Hopefully."
Since Vick's interview last night, ESPN's Adam Schefter is also reporting that Vick is not going to play against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. This is not surprising considering after the game on Sunday, he was barely able to move and was in a lot of pain just breathing in the locker room.
However, it is hard to imagine Vick will not push it and be ready for the Oct. 17 home game against his former team the Atlanta Falcons. Last year head coach Andy Reid allowed Vick to stick it to his former organization by rushing and throwing for a touchdown. But this time he wants to be the starter.
Still, it is never good when a player says he will "hopefully" be back in two weeks especially with his type of injury. A crack of the rib cartilage makes it extremely difficult to breath and will affect him every time he throws the ball. He needs to be close to 100 percent before returning. Otherwise the injury will just re-aggravated the injury or make it even worse.
It is commendable and understandable about why Vick wants to get back on the field sooner rather than late. He wants and needs to prove to the NFL he can stay healthy and that he is a complete quarterback with free agency on the horizon. But it won't help him if he comes back too early and is out even longer.
Eagles Not Interested In Garcia:
With Vick potentially missing two weeks of football, the Eagles have a huge decision to make. Do they allow rookie quarterback Mike Kafka to be the main backup behind Kevin Kolb or do they sign a veteran to backup Kolb?
Right now the answer looks like Kafka is the guy behind Kolb. However, there has been a ton speculation that the Eagles would bring back former Eagle quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Currently, Garcia is playing in the United Football League for the Omaha Nighthawks. For the season, Garcia has been might impressive, but that should be expected of a former NFL quarterback. Garcia numbers are 42 of 75 for 509 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
“It's nice to know that my name is on the radar, that my name is being brought up in certain circles in the NFL," Garcia said. “As much as that's exciting, what we have going on here is exciting. I'm fortunate to have been a part of what's happened here in the first two weeks of the season, and I just want to continue that."
Even if Garcia wanted to opt out of his contract, he says there are multiple teams that are interested in his services and that nothing is substantial until they call his agent.
"There are teams out there that have needs, and it's more than just Philadelphia," Garcia said. “Until one of those teams calls and actually talks to my agent, or calls here and talks to [Omaha GM] Rick Mueller, it's just talk. I've been through this before, and my whole attitude has been not to get caught up in it. I'm going to focus on what I'm doing here and trying to get better and help this team to more wins.
“I don't even want to talk what-ifs. I've gotten myself in trouble in the past with what-ifs. If it becomes reality, it will be something that we have to think about and discuss. Until then, I'm not going to get distracted with outside talks."
Additionally, if the Eagles wanted to sign Garcia, then they must pay the Nighthawks $150,000, which is stipulated in his contract. Of course for an NFL franchise that is pocket change, so the money is not really the issue.
The issue becomes, which player would the Eagles drop in order to sign Garcia and make him apart of the 53-man roster? In addition, will the player being released make it back onto the Eagles practice squad? The likely candidates would be cornerback Jorrick Calvin, tight end Garrett Mills or running back Joique Bell. Although with the injury to running back LeSean McCoy, it is unlikely Bell would be the odd man out.
Moreover, the Eagles could release a player like defensive end Antwan Barnes, who has not suited up the past two weeks. (DE) Darryl Tapp has been playing much better over the last two weeks and Barnes is should continue to be inactive on gamedays. Another player that could be released is linebacker Omar Gaither. Gaither has fallen out of favor with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Needless to say, Gaither still has value and the Eagles probably could get a sixth round pick if they traded him.
A potential option is to place undrafted rookie tackle Austin Howard on IR with a back injury. Howard has been battling a back injury all season and is not likely to play this season. They can clear a spot by putting him on IR.
Nevertheless, the Eagles may have bigger concerns at running back and wide receiver with Riley Cooper sustaining a concussion. It is more likely the Eagles, who are at the bare minimum for wide receivers, signs a wideout before inking Garcia.
Eagles Offensive Line Troubles:
After week four of the NFL season was in the books, ESPN's Scouts Inc. provided six observations about what they saw over the weekend. Unfortunately, it was not good news for the Eagles offensive line as they called the Eagles pass protection a nightmare.
Of course Kevin Kolb was very hard to watch after he took over for an injured Michael Vick, but the protection was horrible against the Washington Redskins. But it has been a problem since the preseason and for much of the regular season. The Eagles' blockers were beaten repeatedly Sunday and took backbreaking holding calls. Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo dominated. Vick's amazing athletic ability masked some of the problems, but he also takes an inordinate number of hits as quarterbacks go. That caught up with him in a big way Sunday. Kolb was overwhelmed, and the Eagles' dynamic wide receiver pair was nowhere to be found. Kolb also missed open receivers even when his passing conditions were favorable. Andy Reid surely had a much different game plan for Vick that he had to scrap, and Kolb presumably didn't get many practice reps during the week, but Kolb didn't get the ball out quickly, show decisiveness or inspire any confidence. He played scared. The protection had a lot to do with that. In fact, the Redskins whipped the Eagles in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
It is becoming more and more obvious that the Eagles overlooked the problems along their offensive line this offseason. A calculated gamble by GM Howie Roseman and head coach Andy Reid to trust their guys has blown up in their face.
The Stacy Andrews experiment failed. Nick Cole has not been able to stay healthy. Jason Peters is looking overrated with each passing game. Jamaal Jackson is once again out for the year. Finally, Mike McGlynn is just not good enough to be a starting caliber offensive lineman.
The Eagles decided not to draft a single offensive lineman or sign one as they felt comfortable with what they had in place. Clearly it was a mistake and it is costing the Eagles. No one should be surprised if the Eagles go after the best offensive guard in free agency and draft heavily along the offensive line.
McCoy Still A Go For Now:
As of Tuesday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles have not ruled out running back LeSean McCoy for this week's game against the San Francisco 49ers.
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that the Eagles are not working out any running backs because they believe McCoy will be back in a week or two. Still, it is hard to believe McCoy will play this week after sustaining a broken rib. Teams will be gunning for his ribs and giving it extra jabs.
Even if he takes the field, his role will be limited in the offense. Also it is unknown if his rib injury will effect his play. Moreover, with La Canfora's information coming to the forefront, a potential trade for Bill running back Marshawn Lynch becomes very unlikely.
Although, Mike Bell has not looked very effective so far this season and he appeared to injure his leg after fumbling the ball (recovered it himself) against the Redskins on Sunday.