Could Vick Be Back by Next Week?

Could Michael Vick return against the Cowboys? (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Saturday that quarterback Michael Vick has progressed quickly the last few days, and is at Phase 3 of the five-phase concussion recovery process.

Eagles coach Andy Reid made it official that Vick will not play Monday night against Carolina. But though Burkholder emphasized that Vick still needs to clear several hurdles to play again -- including normal neurological testing and OKs from both team internist Dr. Gary Dorshimer and an independent neurologist -- Burkholder said Vick should progress into Phase 4 Sunday, and start throwing a football.

"He reports no symptoms -- no headache, no vision problems, no nausea, no fatigue or anything like that," Burkholder said. "He hasn't reported any symptoms today after he did his workout this morning. In all likelihood, if nothing happens tonight, he'll progress into Phase 4 tomorrow, which is football activity."

Burkholder said the independent neurologist visit should occur early next week. Burkholder said Vick is "still off in a few areas" of his baseline testing, something that needs to return to normal before he is cleared to practice fully.

But Vick's improvement would seem to herald a huge decision coming for the Eagles, who might want to use the rest of the season to evaluate rookie QB Nick Foles. Reid has said that Vick is the starter, period.

The news Saturday was much less encouraging on running back LeSean McCoy. Burkhoklder said McCoy is still symptomatic and remains at Phase 1 in his recovery, six days after suffering a concussion in the closing minutes of last Sunday's loss at Washington.

"LeSean still has symptoms today -- he's got a headache, he's got periodic dizziness with exertion. We're not exercising him, but if he goes up and down steps too fast, tries to pick up his baby, that type of thing, he gets a little fuzzy. It's not nearly as bad as it was in Washington, but he's still very fatigued, he's got some sleep issues ... One of the things he complains about is sensitivity to noise ... He's foggy and he's slowed down."

McCoy, of course, won't play this week, either. WR Jason Avant (hamstring) and RB Chris Polk (toe) also are sidelined.

With Bryce Brown starting in place of McCoy, Reid said Brandon Boykin will return kicks, at least initially.

Reid noted progress with Foles, in his second week of practice as the starter.

"I thought this week's practice was better than last. I thought he was just more comfortable in there playing. Didn't have any problems spittin' all the stuff out, just knowing how to take the drops, make the drops work with the coverages and the players that you're playing with, making sure you have a good feel, spending time after practice."

Reid said he likes WR Greg Salas, picked up on waivers from New England, as a slot receiver.