The Eagles held their last substantive practice of 2010 today, the last before Sunday's regular season finale against Dallas. Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and Asante Samuel were nowhere to be found. It is all but official that all three, plus right tackle Winston Justice, who sat out today to rest his knee, will skip the game. In fact, it seems like Andy Reid will adhere to his usual practice in such situations and will rest up key starters for the playoffs as much as possible.
"It's been a strange year, obviously, for myself, personally," said quarterback Kevin Kolb, who lost his starting job after suffering a concussion in the opener. "But it's been a great year for the team, and I've had a lot of fun, as well. I think people understand how tough it's been on me, but they don't understand how much fun I'm having with this team and with Mike and our coaching staff ... we've got a good thing going, We have to make sure we're right for the playoffs, and it starts with us as backups doing the right thing on Sunday."
"I have a lot of confidence in the future of my career," Kolb, 26, said. "There's many more years to go for me, and I know this could be a special one right here -- we can go win a Super Bowl, me as a starter or not. I want to do whatever I can to make sure I'm helping out, when and where I can, and not (be) a distraction. I think if you start acting like that, then things are going to turn on you pretty fast."
Kolb implicitly acknowledged that he will be starting, though officially, Reid said only that it would "be a stretch" for Vick to play with a bruised quad. Vick, who did not practice this week, is listed as questionable, as are Jackson, Samuel and Justice. Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley (elbow) is "out."
Kolb was asked again if he sees this as a "showcase" game for him, given that this offseason, there will be teams eager to trade for a QB who seems ready to start.
"I think every time you step on the field, every time you handle yourself in the media, everytime you're in a meeting room with your fellow teammates, it's a showcase," he said. "Things are always being said. Hopefully, it's a body of work, you know, but I plan to go out there and rock and roll as good as ever. If that's what it takes, that's what everybody's saying, then that's what it will be."
Kolb hasn't played substantially since Oct. 24 at Tennessee, but some of the guys he'll be out there with -- such as rookie offensive tackle Austin Howard -- really haven't played meaningful snaps all season.
"For me it's huge," Howard said. "For me, no added pressure. If I do get a chance, I'm just going to go out there and do what I know I can do."
Rookie tight end Clay Harbor has gotten some snaps lately -- he caught his first NFL touchdown pass against the Vikings -- but nothing like the reps he figures to see Sunday.
"If we get the extended time, it's going to be huge going into the playoffs," Harbor said. "Get a chance to really work on our confidence, going up against, me personally, two of the best pass-rushers and defensive ends, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, in the league, that's a great test. Just the experience of it is going to be great. I really haven't played extended reps, since, if you count the preseason, I played a couple of (entire) quarters there, but I have to go back to college to really think of (playing) the whole game, not going out."
Asante Samuel was never present when reporters were around this week to ask if he got fined for his helmet-to-helmet hit in the Vikings game. In response to requests, the NFL hasn't released any fine information regarding Samuel.