Barkley could be forced to start against Giants

AP

When Eagles coach Chip Kelly talked to reporters Monday, he wasn’t sure who he’d have available to practice today.

So trying to pin him down on the identity of his starting quarterback was a fruitless endeavor, as he couldn’t rule out rookie Matt Barkley starting this week, since Nick Foles has a concussion and Michael Vick is working back from a hamstring injury.

Right now I don’t know who is healthy and who is not healthy,” Kelly said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Until we find out who is healthy, it doesn’t help anybody to say that guy’s our starter.”

Foles will have to be cleared by an independent neurologist, but the status of Vick’s left hamstring offers a bit of wiggle room. He’d likely play if he’s close to 100 percent, but the degree to which he can move will determine his availability.

“I’m not going to put Mike out there if Mike can’t be productive,” Kelly said. “That can’t change just because someone else got hurt. That doesn’t make another guy get healthy quicker.”

That could put them back in the hands of Barkley against the Giants, and Kelly said he thought the fourth-round pick could rebound from a bad start. He threw three interceptions in nine minutes replacing Foles last week, though Kelly said he didn’t think any had to do with the arm strength questions that were persistent in the pre-draft process.

“I didn’t see a difference on Sunday in him,” Kelly said. “I think Matt can make the throws. It’s just a matter of him learning and learning the speed of the game. I think he’s got a bright future.”

Unless Vick gets well or Foles gets a quick clearance, the future could be now.