Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy have still not been cleared to return to practice, head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday. Joining Vick and McCoy on the sidelines is starting safety Kurt Coleman, who suffered a sternum contusion in the Eagles' 38-33 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week. Reid said that Coleman is "day to day" but thinks "he'll struggle to" play on Sunday.
Taking the first-team reps at safety alongside Nate Allen in Coleman's absence is Colt Anderson, who last got extended playing time at safety when he replaced an injured Allen in the second half of the team's Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions. Anderson said he's looking forward to the opportunity to show that he can be more than a special teams demon.
"It's going to be huge," Anderson said. "Any time you can get practice reps you're going to feel more comfortable out there.
"We have to approach this week no different than others. We're just trying to win the game and we're going to kind of show everybody what kind of team we are."
As for Vick and McCoy, Vick appears to be the closer of the two to returning at this point, though it won't be as the starter. Vick took another ImPACT test Wednesday, the results of which have not come through yet.
"Right now, as we speak right now, he's not ready to play," Reid said of Vick. "The number one thing is his health, absolutely the number one thing as we go forward. I'm not going to put him in any jeopardy out there and the league rules, the way they're set up for concussion, they're pretty cut and dry. At the same time, I'm not going to put him at risk if possible."
But if and when Vick is cleared to return, rookie Nick Foles will remain the team's starting quarterback. Through three starts and four games of significant playing time, Foles has a 73.3 quarterback rating with a completion percentage of 60.9 and two touchdowns versus three interceptions. But his best game came last week in the loss to the Cowboys, as Foles compiled a 96.6 quarterback rating and didn't turn the ball over while throwing for 251 yards.
"He's a smart kid," Reid said. "He works hard, spends a lot of time at his job. He's done well up to this point, now you have to keep going. As teams have an opportunity to study you, your strengths and weaknesses, present you with different looks according to what they see, you've got to be able to answer those things. It's a matter of just getting reps under his belt."
McCoy, meanwhile, is still feeling symptoms of his concussion, Reid said. The head coach was asked whether McCoy would even play at some point this season if he's eventually cleared.
"Well, there's a chance," Reid said. "We'll kind of cross that bridge as we get closer to him being healthy and all. We'll just see how that works."
In McCoy's absence, seventh-round rookie Bryce Brown has put on a show at running back, totaling 347 rushing yards in his first two career starts, the second highest two-game total in Eagles history behind only Steve Van Buren's 379 yards in 1949. However, Brown has also lost three fumbles in those two games. How can the rookie improve his ball security?
"Just the sheer amount of reps he's getting, that's going to help," Reid said. "And then, he has to make a cognizant effort of keeping it high and tight, especially later in the game after a number of carries."
Finally, Reid praised the offensive line's performance over the last two games during which they've allowed only two sacks and have helped pave the way for Brown's success on the ground. Noticeably absent from the starting unit during those games has been 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins, who, according to Reid, is healthy.
"He's right about there (health-wise)," Reid said. "Listen, I think the group that's playing right now is a positive. I'm sticking with that group as we speak. They're playing well together and that's an important position that you play well."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider.