Eagles QB Michael Vick’s hamstring issue is the type of injury that can be “milked” because it’s an injury that mainly depends on the word of the player as opposed to any medical imaging (with the exception of a tear).
It can be an injury of convenience for teams as well.
What I mean by that, is, if a coach wants to get an extended look at another player while the starter is injured, they can easily hide that under the guise of a hamstring injury.
“He’s not 100-percent yet” is easy enough to say and nobody will question it whereas all kinds of hell would break loose if a coach said the starter was healthy but he is holding him out in order to get a better look at his replacement.
It’s also a face-saving technique for a respected veteran starter. If a veteran starter was held out of the starting lineup for the reason of wanting to see his backup play, that would be a public slight to the player.
And that’s what I think is going on here with Vick and Foles. I certainly don’t think Vick is milking his injury, but rather the team is telling him to take his time and be sure he’s completely, without a single doubt, back to 100-percent.
After the Giants game, Vick said he could have gone back in if needed. He practiced the following week, albeit limited, and was then active for the Bucs game.
Early last week he also stated that he thought he would be ready to go for the Bucs game. But by Saturday, he down-graded that by saying “it’s going to be a long road back” [to health].
Then, after Foles’ NFC Offensive Player of the Week performance against Tampa, Vick stated his injury was “worse than he thought it was” and that he’s “hoping” it’s “not a long time” before he “gets back out there.”
The way all this has gone leads me to think that there is some kind of deal or plan in place — for right now — that if Foles continues to play well and the team continues to win, he will continue to start and Vick will take a back seat (and the hamstring issue will be drawn out as long as possible).
However, if Foles clearly falters this week against Dallas and the Eagles lose, we’ll see how quick Vick’s hamstring heals up then. If Foles merely does “average” (does some good and bad things) and they lose, then Chip could go either way.
At some point, though, Chip needs to choose one guy or the other and stick with him no matter what.