Depending on the outcome of Eagles-Panthers Monday, Birds fans need to at least brace themselves for the possibility.

If the Eagles lose and Andy Reid isn't fired before Tuesday, Wednesday becomes the time to start wondering whether it's going to happen before 2013.

While two weeks ago, after a 30-17 loss to Atlanta, seemed the opportune moment, if the Eagles lose here, it would seem Tuesday or never for owner Jeffrey Lurie to make a move.

After tonight, against the 2-8 Panthers, the Birds pack up for a two-game road trip. Given what fans have endured at the Linc this season, debuting an interim for eight quarters away from home would seem ideal.

But if not now, when? If a message needs to be sent, what good would it do any later in the season -- including after it -- when there isn't enough time to see whether the problem was the players or the coach?

Improbable anyway -- case in point: his hires at defensive coordinator and offensive and defensive line coach, underscored by a 3-7 start and six-game losing streak -- Reid's chances of being retained aren't looking good in particular because his lone escape rope seems to have frayed.

If Nick Foles looked promising enough, the case could've been made to keep Reid to groom him.

In two games, Foles has barely completed 55 percent of his throws and has just one touchdown to three interceptions, albeit behind an offensive line that's more like a colander than a bowl.

Still, he hasn't screamed "franchise quarterback." And after Michael Vick's 2011 and 2012 seasons, neither does Reid "quarterback guru."

That, and the week in-and-out embarrassment of a team in its supposed "all-in" season, don't bode well for a 15th year of Reid.

Still, there is the friend factor, and that Lurie is best buds with him.

Then there's the possibility that Lurie considers a season that began with the death of Reid's son, Garrett, skewed and unrepresentative of what Reid can still offer.

Other possible answers -- like a dearth of attractive replacements or a simple non-answer -- could be floated by Lurie at a year-end presser to explain why he's keeping Reid for 2013 when good sense tells him to do otherwise.

The odds aren't high, but this organization has had a knack for doing things its own way despite the cries of logic and the fan base for quite some time now.

So, while many hope it to be the case, and others have assumed it inevitable, until it happens, Reid's firing can't be considered sure-thing.

Then again, the overwhelming likelihood here is that the Eagles win, and the issue is bumped back yet another week.

Or five.