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PHILADELPHIA – Eagles coach Chip Kelly won't admit it, but it's appearing more and more likely that Michael Vick will start on Sunday, when the Giants come to Lincoln Financial Field.
Vick on Thursday practiced successfully for a third straight day and is set to undergo his toughest physical challenge of the week Friday when he'll test out his hamstring for the first time since he injured it on Oct. 6 against the Giants (1-6) in New York.
"Gotta get out here and run," Vick said Thursday. "Tomorrow's not a walk-through day for me."
It'll be the first time in almost three weeks Vick will turn it loose without holding anything back. The test, he said, will be straightforward.
"Run 100 yards as fast as I can," he said.
Nick Foles has quarterbacked the Eagles (3-4) in Vick's absence, but he suffered a concussion last Sunday, when he threw for just 80 yards on 11-for-29 passing in a 17-3 loss to Dallas.
Despite missing the past two and a half games, Vick remains second on the Eagles in rushing yards (307) and is second among all NFL quarterbacks to Seattle's Russell Wilson (323), who has not missed a game in seven weeks.
His mobility and scrambling capability is more important for him than most passers, so his sprint test could predict his ability to be effective. But Kelly said he and Vick have yet to talk about it.
"We'll see where Mike is," Kelly said. "Again it's how do you respond?"
Foles hasn't practiced this week and must pass a series of physical and neurological tests before he can return.
"Nick was here," Kelly said. "He worked out with the trainers. He will not practice, and we'll see. He's got to go through a protocol. But he's back. He was at our morning session and did some conditioning stuff with our trainers."
If both Vick and Foles can't go, rookie Matt Barkley will be forced into the starting role Sunday. Last week, Barkley threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter.