PHILADELPHIA -- Fresh off an inauspicious debut, Matt Barkley could start his first NFL game for the Philadelphia Eagles because he's the only healthy quarterback on the roster.
Filling in for the injured Nick Foles, Barkley threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 17-3 loss to Dallas. With Michael Vick still recovering from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the last 2 1/2 games, it's uncertain who'll be under centre against the New York Giants this week.
"My decision on who our quarterback is, is based on health," coach Chip Kelly said Monday. "Right now I don't know who is healthy and who is not healthy. Until we find out who is healthy, it doesn't help anybody to say that guy our starter. It doesn't help the situation because I don't know when they're all coming back. Our focus is to play the New York Giants this week.
"What is the best way to get us to beat the Giants, depending on who is the healthy quarterback this week."
Foles sustained a concussion when he was sacked by George Selvie and Jarius Wynn on the final play of the third quarter. Before that play, he struggled, completing just 11 of 29 for 80 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Foles was coming off an impressive performance in a win at Tampa Bay that earned him NFC Player of the Week honours. He also played well after replacing Vick late in the second quarter of a win at the Giants on Oct. 6.
His sparked a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Kelly's reluctance to commit to giving Vick his starting job when he returned only fueled the talk.
Now, it's pretty clear Vick will start when he's ready.
"I think he was off a little bit," Kelly said of Foles. "His feet weren't set on a couple of those throws, and in all instances, we have to do a little better job. There were times when guys were open that we didn't get the ball on him. There were other times when we didn't get off of coverage, and there was a couple of times that we gave up too much leakage pressure, so he's not being able to set his feet."
It was the most important start in Foles' young career. First place in the NFC East was at stake when the Eagles (3-4) played the Cowboys (4-3). Perhaps the pressure was too much for the second-year pro?
"No, I don't think it had anything (to do with it)," Kelly said. "That's my feeling, but I haven't spoken to him about it, but Nick never struck me as the guy that the moment kind of catches him. He came off the bench against the Giants without taking a snap, and led us on a drive right at the end in two-minute (offence) to get a field goal in a critical situation. I saw him play in college, and I don't think any time in college did I ever see Nick get overwhelmed by the moment or whatnot."
As for Barkley, he entered in a tough spot. The Eagles were trailing by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter so the defence knew Barkley would be passing every down.
"Difficult situation for him to come in," Kelly said. "I'm sure he'd want those throws back."
Vick was inactive against the Cowboys after dressing as the third-string quarterback at Tampa. Tight end James Casey, who couldn't play against the Buccaneers, returned and filled the emergency QB role vs. Dallas.
Vick's hamstring injury is more severe than he originally thought, but it's possible he could return this week.
"Mike did work out before the game and said he feels like he's moving in the right direction," Kelly said. "So it will be interesting to see where he is from the standpoint of coming in and running around a little bit (Tuesday) morning in terms of warm-up with the strength and conditioning staff and how that goes."