The coach who decried "quarterback instability" as a main reason for not scoring an offensive touchdown the past two weeks took a step toward stability Wednesday, when he told reporters before practice that Nick Foles will start against the Oakland Raiders this weekend.
"Nick did really well ... Nick's going to be our starting quarterback this week, he'll take the reps with the 'ones' this week, and we'll get ready as a team offensively to prepare for Oakland," Chip Kelly said.
Kelly said even though he knew Foles had been cleared medically from the concussion he suffered in an Oct. 20 loss to Dallas, he wanted to see Foles in practice before he made his decision on a starter. He said he was very pleased with what he saw.
Asked if the "instability" is going to be more or less permanent, Kelly said: "God, I hope not." But he wouldn't say Michael Vick won't be back as the starter when Vick's hamstring heals. Kelly said his only focus has to be beating the Raiders, that to base a QB decision on next season would be unfair to the players and the fans. He said there will not be a point in the season when he bases his decision on anything more than what he thinks gives the team the best chance to win that week.
"If we start planning longterm, I might not be here longterm," Kelly said. "So let's go beat Oakland."
Asked if he's watching to see how Foles bounces back from his terrible performance against Dallas, Kelly said: "That's one of the things about Nick that I like, is I think there's a resiliency to him. I don't think Nick played well in the Dallas Cowboys game, and he understands that. I've seen Nick play well. I've seen Nick come off the bench against the New York Giants (just before halftime Oct. 6) without throwing a (warmup) snap, and we move down the field and we get a field goal ... I've seen him throw a great pass to Brent Celek with a guy draped on him ... He did not play well in the Dallas Cowboys game, but Nick wasn't the only one who didn't play well in the Dallas Cowboys game. I've got a ton of confidence in Nick and I'm excited to have him back out there."
Kelly said Vick's MRI showed he reinjured his left hamstring Sunday at the point of the original injury.