Initially it seemed odd when the Eagles signed Matt Nagy, one of their intern coaches, for a half day while at Lehigh University.
Turns out that little quarterback maneuver couldn't compete with the stranger-than-fiction tales that have followed.
The latest chapter unfolded yesterday when the Eagles re-signed Jeff Garcia to a one-year deal to give themselves some insurance while starter Donovan McNabb recovers from the fractured rib he suffered in the third quarter of Sunday's game at Carolina.
Garcia, when he arrives for practice tomorrow at the NovaCare Complex, will be the seventh quarterback to pull on an Eagles uniform since the start of training camp. He's aware that his Philadelphia reunion could be short because even if McNabb can't return until after the Eagles' Oct. 4 bye, Michael Vick will be back for the Week 3 home game against Kansas City.
The Eagles will have to make a roster move to clear space before they can sign Garcia tomorrow.
With McNabb, Vick and Garcia on the roster, the Eagles have three quarterbacks with a combined 12 Pro Bowl appearances, but none of them figures to start Sunday in the home opener against the New Orleans Saints. That assignment figures to go to Kevin Kolb and it will be his first career start.
"I know this is kind of a different situation," Garcia said during a conference call with reporters. "For my family and myself, it was definitely an exciting time and an exciting opportunity. I've already exchanged messages with Donovan. I'm not excited that it comes at the expense of his injury, but to be able to come back to an organization that I have such great memories with . . . whether it's for a week or two weeks or an entire season, I'm excited about the opportunity."
During his only season with the Eagles in 2006, Garcia filled in for an injured McNabb and led the Eagles to a 5-1 record and an unlikely NFC East title. He also quarterbacked the Eagles to a playoff win over the New York Giants before losing to the Saints in New Orleans the following week.
Vick, the previous addition in the Eagles' unpredictable string of quarterback signings, will get to keep his No. 7 jersey even though that was the number worn by Garcia when his late-season rally turned him into a fan favorite.
Garcia, 39, left the Eagles to sign with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2007 and spent two seasons with the Buccaneers. He signed with Oakland in the off-season, but asked for his release at the end of training camp because he wasn't happy with the Raiders' situation.
The Eagles also had conversations with A.J. Feeley about rejoining the team, but he opted to sign with the Panthers. Carolina placed backup quarterback Josh McCown on injured reserve after he suffered injuries to his left knee and ankle during Sunday's game against the Eagles.
"It was a better opportunity," Feeley said in a text message. "It doesn't surprise me that Jeff is coming back. He knows the offense and had success, but hopefully, it meshes well with everyone."
Neither McNabb nor coach Andy Reid ruled out the possibility that McNabb would be able to recover in time for the Eagles' Week 2 game, but all signs, including the addition of Garcia, pointed to that being a long shot.
"He's pretty sore today and I think he'll struggle to practice the majority of the week, but we'll see how he does," Reid said at a regular Monday news conference.
McNabb did not talk to reporters, but answered a few questions for the team's Web site before taping his weekly television show.
"It's most important to just take care of the body, relax and give it an opportunity to heal," McNabb said. "It's just Monday right now, but if Friday and Saturday come along and I'm feeling a lot better, you just never know."
Reid did name Kolb the starter for tomorrow's practice and the third-year quarterback liked the idea of working with the first-team offense before a game for the first time in his career. He said it's difficult to get into a groove coming off the bench in relief, which is how he has made his eight career appearances to date.
"It's not a switch you can flip on and off," Kolb said. "That's what is hard about being a backup during a game. It's hard to flip that switch. I want to make sure I'm prepared mentally, emotionally, physically if I do have to go in on Sunday."
Kolb has a career passer rating of 25.0, completing 24 of 45 passes while throwing four interceptions without a touchdown. He also has been sacked four times, including twice Sunday when he came on in relief of McNabb in the third quarter and failed to lead the Eagles to a score.
Despite his struggles coming off the bench, Kolb's teammates and his head coach professed confidence in him.
"We're all confident, coaches and players, that given the opportunity he could do a nice job," Reid said.
That seemed to be the sentiment in the Eagles' locker room Sunday as well.
"Me and Kevin have a great rapport," receiver DeSean Jackson said. "He's ready to throw it up and let me make a play for him and ease some things off his shoulders."
Was signing Jeff Garcia a good move for the Eagles?
(Out of 2,718 responses on Philly.com.)
Yes: 2,538 votes (93.4%)
No: 180 votes (6.6%)EndText