The Philadelphia Eagles are used to making tough choices at quarterback. After the Eagles beat the New York Giants on Oct. 6 without an injured Michael Vick, it looked like another difficult choice between Vick and Nick Foles was ahead. But when Vick was ruled day-to-day on Oct. 7, it appeared to take the decision out of Philadelphia’s hands -- for this week anyway.
The speculation is that Vick will have to sit out against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 13, leaving Foles to take the start -- although nothing is official yet. This would be the easiest way to settle the new quarterback dispute, but next week could be a different matter for the Eagles.
If Vick is just day-to-day, he should be healthy enough to lead Philadelphia against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 20. With that game likely to decide first place in the NFC East, the Eagles probably shouldn’t risk Vick against the winless Buccaneers first. Foles beat Tampa Bay for his only win of 2012, so he can certainly do it again and get Philadelphia to 3-3.
Yet if Foles is particularly impressive and efficient, even while facing the Buccaneers, the dispute will begin anew for the Eagles. Although the Giants and Buccaneers have no combined victories themselves, Foles would still have two wins that got the Eagles back to .500 -- which is more than Vick has done so far. As such, would Foles then give Philadelphia the best chance to win an all-important game for first place?
If the Eagles lose or if they win in spite of Foles, the question will be irrelevant and Vick will start for certain. But he already knows how this could go against him, since Vick only took the starting job in 2010 because of how he stepped in when Kevin Kolb was injured.
Can Foles do enough to make a case for the job against the Buccaneers, or is he stuck as the backup no matter what? That will be the biggest question of the week for the Eagles, but it will be a mild distraction, compared to what it could become a week from now.