Kevin Kolb will start for Eagles in place of injured Michael Vick

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kolb will start for injured Vick

PHILADELPHIA — Kevin Kolb has another chance to prove he’s a capable starting quarterback.

Kolb will replace the injured Michael Vick when the Philadelphia Eagles visit San Francisco on Sunday. Vick didn’t practice all week because of a rib cartilage injury, and won’t travel with the team.

Though coach Andy Reid didn’t rule Vick out for the game until Friday, Kolb has been preparing as if he would play.

“I approached it like that all week, and that’s the way you have to do it, so it doesn’t change anything in my mind,” Kolb said. “But it just helps you focus in on that you’re the guy and you’ve got to go in and win.”

Vick was hurt in the first quarter of Philadelphia’s 17-12 loss last Sunday to Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins.

It was a costly loss for the Eagles (2-2). Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel and wide receiver Riley Cooper sustained concussions and will not play against the 49ers (0-4).

But running back LeSean McCoy is expected to play despite a broken rib.

“He’s tough as nails,” Kolb said of McCoy. “I think we knew that long before, but he just proves it when he comes in last week and breaks it, in probably the second quarter I think, and never said a word about it. And of course, going and playing this week, too. It’s a tribute to him and how bad he wants it and how bad we all want it. We’re very focused to go win this game.”

Kolb began the season as the starter, but lost his job after he suffered a concussion in Week 1 and Vick played exceptionally well in his absence. Vick led the Eagles to two road wins and was the NFC offensive player of the month in September.

Vick’s sensational performance forced Reid to make a flip-flop decision, and bench Kolb one day after declaring he was going to remain the starter.

“He’s done a good job, and done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Reid said of Kolb. “He seems comfortable with the game plan and I think is fired up about playing.”

Kolb was 22 for 35 for 201 yards with a touchdown and an interception after replacing Vick. His desperation heave into the end zone on the final play bounced out of Jason Avant’s hands and was picked.

Kolb struggled in the opener against Green Bay. He was 5 of 10 for 24 yards in one half. Overall, he’s led the Eagles to just 15 points in five quarters.

Last year, Kolb became the first player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts. He’ll be making his fourth career start on Sunday.

“It’s super high,” Kolb said when asked his confidence level. “And our team’s is super high. We know that we need to go in there and get this one. We had an unbelievable week of work. Our intensity level’s been through the roof, and I feel like we have a great game plan, so those three things need to combine into a victory.”

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