Vick, McCoy near clearance to return, but...

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
5:20
PM ET
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy, each of whom has been sitting out as he recovers from a concussion, are getting close to being cleared to practice. It's hard to believe either could get clearance to play in Thursday night's game against the Bengals, since neither has yet been seen by the league's independent neurologist, but it sounds as though either or both could be cleared to play in the Week 16 game the Redskins.

The question, of course, is whether and how much those guys would play even if they were cleared. Eagles coach Andy Reid has already announced that rookie Nick Foles would start the rest of the season at quarterback, so Vick would be a backup if activated. The team is using the rest of the season to evaluate whether Foles, their third-round pick this year, is a legitimate option for them at starting quarterback for next year. If he is (and maybe even if he's not), the Eagles could cut ties with Vick after this season ends.

McCoy, however, signed a contract extension this past offseason and is a key part of the team's future. If he's cleared, he'll surely return to practice and game action. His replacement, rookie Bryce Brown, racked up more than 300 rushing yards in his first two starts before being held in check by Tampa Bay's top-ranked run defense Sunday. Brown has shown enough to merit a role in the run game even once McCoy is back, but McCoy would assume his role as the lead back in the team's rushing attack once he's able to play again.

I guess this all matters to you if you're in your fantasy playoffs an keeping an eye on any or all of these guys. The Eagles cannot finish at .500 even if they win their final three games.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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