McNabb misses practice; Feeley likely to start

Still rehabilitating from ankle and thumb injuries that sidelined him for last week's game, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, increasing the chances that backup A.J. Feeley will start Sunday's home game against the Seattle Seahawks.

McNabb did not participate in any phase of the Thursday practice and instead received treatment from team trainers for his injuries.

On Wednesday, McNabb said he was "a lot closer" to playing this week than last and that there was "a good possibility" he would be sufficiently recovered to face the Seahawks. But coach Andy Reid has been insistent that he will not risk further injury to McNabb and that he won't play until the staff is comfortable with his recovery.

McNabb worked out on Tuesday, the players' day off, making some cuts on his ankle to gauge how far it has come and throwing passes. Reid said the nine-year veteran has been "living" in the trainer's room.

"Again, you don't want to do anything to give you a setback," McNabb told area reporters Wednesday. "We've definitely been progressing. I've been staying on it and trying to do extra whenever I can. When the time comes, I'll be ready to get out there and move around."

The thumb injury that McNabb suffered in a Nov. 18 victory over Miami is believed to have improved significantly the past few days, but the sprained right ankle is still problematic.

In the Eagles' near-upset of the undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday evening, Feeley completed 27-of-42 passes for 345 yards, with three touchdown passes and three interceptions. The veteran backup played with confidence and boldness, attacking the middle of the New England secondary.

The start was the first for Feeley since 2004, when he started eight games for the Dolphins.

The success Feeley enjoyed against the Patriots has sparked debate among some Eagles fans that the team might be better served with him at quarterback. But Reid, a staunch supporter of his regular starter, has reiterated that the job is McNabb's when he is healthy.

"I really don't care what anyone else thinks on that," Reid said. "I make that final decision. I'm not going to get into all the things I think he does well. We've all seen it over the nine years. When he's been out there, he's a good football player. He's put his mark on this offense, the way he does it. He'll continue to do that when he gets back healthy."

McNabb, who turned 31 last Sunday, has been beset by injuries in recent seasons, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament that limited him to 10 games in 2006. The former first-round pick started the first 10 games this season and completed 195-of-326 passes for 2,329 yards, with 13 touchdown passes and six interceptions, for a passer rating of 87.3.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.