Chip Kelly hasn't named his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Giants, but Tom Coughlin has. Asked if he is expecting to see Michael Vick behind center in the upcoming game, Coughlin gave a two-word answer: "I am."
Vick was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, the first time he has done that since he pulled his hamstring against the Giants in Week 5. He was replaced by Nick Foles in that game and Foles started the next two before leaving Sunday with a head injury against the Cowboys. Rookie Matt Barkley replaced Foles, but the expectation is that Vick will be back to face the Giants.
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"I don't think he's coming back hurt at all," Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas said. "I think he'll be ready to go."
Foles threw the game-winning touchdown pass in their last meeting, but Vick ran for 79 yards on seven carries in less than a half of play.
"He took off and did a nice job of that, which is part of the style of that offense," Coughlin said. "They depend on that. If you look at all the quarterbacks running that particular scheme, they seem to depend on that part of it."
Vick said this week he is optimistic about his chances of playing, but Kelly said he doesn't think Vick is back to full speed yet. "I can be honest with you, I don't think he ran a hundred percent," Kelly said. "He wasn't running full sprints out there [Tuesday] in practice. But he looks like he's progressing."
That may be more than the Giants can handle. Vick has averaged 53.4 rushing yards, including a pair of 100-plus yard games (and he was well on his way to a third before the hamstring injury this year), in 10 career games against the Giants. Vick is 7-3 in those games, 6-2 as an Eagle.
"Vick's going to do what he's going to do," Thomas said. "He's an explosive quarterback who can run the ball. He's just like another running back who can throw it. We want to contain him."
Thomas said he thought the Giants' defense was clamped down on Vick pretty well in the last game, allowing almost half of those rushing yards on one run for 34 yards. Plus, it was pointed out that Vick has been known to be fragile and letting him run ultimately led to his hamstring issue on a 13-yard scramble. "Maybe that's the game plan this week," Thomas said, with a smile.