If you’ve heard anything about the Philadelphia Eagles in the past 24 hours, it was probably about their current quarterback situation. Michael Vick’s injured thumb will not keep him from missing any practice time or preseason action, however, Mike Kafka, his backup, suffered a fracture on his non-throwing hand in the preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This injury could prove to be costly for Kafka, as it allows rookie Nick Foles to take over as second-string quarterback and gives Trent Edwards the restored hope of hanging onto the roster.
Reports from spring and summer practices noted that Kafka looked stronger, sharper and ready to lead in case Vick were to miss any time, but his lone quarter of preseason action suggests otherwise.
The third-year pro looked skittish in the pocket and lacked composure when faced with pressure. His second-quarter interception was a perfect example of how not to play quarterback in the NFL.
Now that he has this physical setback to deal with, his chances of making the team have been jeopardized.
Foles on the other hand, has been sporadic during training camp, but comes with great tools. Already, we’ve seen ways in which he’s got Kafka beat. During the Eagles’ Thursday night come-from-behind victory, Foles connected on a 70-yard touchdown pass during a play that had him flushed out of the pocket, and forced him to make a throw on the run.
Now it wasn’t the prettiest pass you’ll ever seen, but the ability to hit a deep receiver and extend the play by eluding pressure is there. These are intangibles that even Andy Reid can’t teach a quarterback.
As of right now, Kafka is still the go-to guy after No.7, but as Foles gets more reps in practice, he’ll receive more attention as well.
This heated battle is still long from over, but it’s worth mentioning that the only advantage Kafka has over his competition, is experience. And if he were to miss two or three of the remaining preseason games, he would not only be giving away chunks of his only edge, but possibly his place on the team as well.
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