Coach Andy Reid said Foles will remain the starter for the rest of the season, even when Michael Vick returns from a concussion. The Eagles (3-9) have lost eight straight games, a strong factor in Reid’s decision.
“No. 1, I just think he’s playing well enough to where I think he can win football games for us,” Reid said Monday. “And No. 2, I think where we sit at this position in the season, I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Reid made the announcement a day after Foles had his best performance in a 38-33 loss at Dallas on Sunday night. Foles, a third-round pick, has started the last three games since Vick was injured on Nov. 11.
Foles was 22 of 34 for 251 yards and one touchdown against the Cowboys. He has thrown for 793 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and has a passer rating of 73.3.
“You see the footwork is better when he’s throwing the football,” Reid said. “It’s allowing us to add more into his repertoire of throws and he’s been working very hard on that.”
Vick has struggled this season, committing 14 turnovers in nine games. He has 2,165 yards passing, 11 TDs and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2.
Vick remains in stage four of five in his recovery and has yet to pass the final test that would allow him to be cleared to practice. The team has a five-phase recovery protocol, which is separate from the NFL-mandated concussion program.
“I haven’t got that far, but most likely, he’ll be the second guy,” Reid said. “We’ll see how that goes. The No. 1 thing I want him to do is get healthy. That’s what I want. This obviously has taken a bit and he’s working his tail off to try to get it right and I just want him to get that right so he can have a nice, long career here.”
Frustrated fans have been calling for Foles to replace Vick since he had an impressive preseason playing against backups and guys who didn’t make NFL rosters. His first 2½ games didn’t suggest he could be the team’s long-term answer, but Foles played well against the Cowboys.
Whoever coaches the team, however, has to start with finding a franchise QB. If Foles stays healthy the rest of the way, he’ll have seven starts under his belt. That’s a decent sample for an evaluation, though not a definite indication of his potential.
The last time the Eagles had such debate over their quarterback of the future was in 1997. Bobby Hoying, a third-round pick like Foles, had a strong start. He threw for 835 yards, six TDs, one interception and had a 60.4 completion percentage and 98.0 passer rating while going 2-0-1 in his first three starts.