The Philadelphia Eagles seemed ready to hand themselves back to Nick Foles on Oct. 29. With Foles cleared to practice after his concussion, the Eagles will likely start him against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 4 if he has no more setbacks. However, the Eagles have already paid for rushing back an injured quarterback when they felt they had no choice.
It became obvious that Michael Vick wasn't fully ready to start against the New York Giants on Oct. 27. Yet with Foles out and Matt Barkley an unattractive option, Chip Kelly brought Vick back in and paid for it in the end. As a result, Vick reinjured himself, Barkley struggled in relief without the proper preparation and the Eagles suffered another horrific loss.
Now Foles is being prepped for a quick return because Vick is out again and Barkley is even less of an attractive option. This is the same formula that got Vick reinjured just as he did weeks ago -- and if Foles suffers the same injury he did weeks ago, it would result in another concussion.
The Eagles are enough of an embarrassment at quarterback without rushing their few options back, or getting them hurt all over again. This time, they can hide behind Foles getting cleared and thoroughly checked out after his concussion. But the issue of how well players are checked for concussions, and whether they are truly protected after suffering them, has hung over the NFL for some time.
With the Eagles still one game back in the NFC East, is that influencing the need to get Foles back on the field? Or would they be better off just throwing in the towel and giving Barkley the job for a few weeks right now, regardless of his past performances or the need to win? Since Kelly clearly needs his own quarterback to make his system work, Barkley needs a few more chances now to prove that it could be him -- which may mean more than wins or endangering Vick or Foles further.
If Foles returns and beats the Raiders, these issues won't mean as much in Philadelphia for a week. But if Foles gets another concussion and Barkley comes in anyway, the Eagles and Kelly will look truly reckless for making the same mistakes again -- to the point where their future together has to be questioned.