It’s not Mike Kafka’s fault that he suffered a broken (non-throwing) hand in the first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As we all know injuries are a part of the NFL and it sometimes leads to some unexpected events to occur.
Kafka was slated to be the second in command behind starting quarterback Michael Vick at the start of the preseason. Entering his third season in the league the Eagles believed he was ready to step up and take control of their explosive offense in the event that Vick would have to sit out for an extended period of time. Had Kafka not endured a broken hand he would have had his shot to solidify this backup quarterback competition — you know — the one that was never supposed to happen.
However, with both Vick (ribs) and Kafka (broken hand) sitting out with injuries, rookie Nick Foles and veteran Trent Edwards have made the most out of their opportunities on the field.
Foles has been a pleasant surprise through three preseason games. He’s completed 36 of 57 pass attempts, has amassed 507 passing yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Those two INT’s prove that there is still work to be done and improvements to be made. But you can’t say enough about how well Foles has taken to the Eagles offensive scheme in such a short period of time. He is calm, stands tall in the pocket in the face of defenders and knows how to drive the ball down the field.
The biggest concern with Foles is this — can the Eagles organization rely on a rookie quarterback to step in at a moments notice with the likelihood that Michael Vick will endure an injury which will force him to sit on the sidelines? I say yes. Foles got his shot with the starting offense against the Cleveland Browns on Friday and performed well.
The other part of this equation, fourth-year man Trent Edwards, has been playing well also. Edwards has completed 32 of 48 pass attempts for 292 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Although Edwards numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as Nick Foles, he has still proved that he can take control of the offense and lead them down the field and into the endzone. Edwards brings that additional veteran presence to the team that the Eagles like to have and has the ability to be a solid backup to Vick.
All this spells disaster for Mike Kafka. I won’t say that he is done with the Eagles organization because until head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg decide his time is up anything is possible. But it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to see what both Foles and Edwards has done in their time on the field and see that Kafka is still the Eagles guy behind Michael Vick. Foles is in, the only question is where does he fall on the depth chart? I find it hard to believe that Philly would let Edwards go after the way he’s played.
But there can only be three quarterbacks and Kafka hasn’t been able to prove his worth on the Eagles roster during the preseason. It’s a tough league and the Eagles will have some tough decisions to make in order to get their roster down to the league mandated 53 players. And as the preseason is coming to a close with just one game standing between now and the regular season, time just doesn’t appear to be on Kafka’s side.