Barkley will be the fourth quar­ter­back to start for Buf­falo

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - JOHN WAWROW THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Buf­falo Bills are go­ing with newly signed jour­ney­man Matt Barkley as their start­ing quar­ter­back, rather than pro­vide turnover-prone Nathan Peter­man an­other chance.

The Bills ruled out in­jured rookie Josh Allen on Satur­day and an­nounced Barkley is ex­pected to start against the New York Jets on Sun­day. Barkley gets the nod ahead of Peter­man de­spite hav­ing just two weeks of prac­tice ex­pe­ri­ence since sign­ing Oct. 30. Barkley will be­come the fourth quar­ter­back to start for the team this sea­son, and third in three weeks. It will be his first start in two years since go­ing1-5 with the Chicago Bears in 2016.

Allen will miss his fourth con­sec­u­tive game since sprain­ing his right throw­ing el­bow in a 20-13 loss at Hous­ton on Oct.14. The first-round pick prac­ticed on a lim­ited ba­sis this week and will get ad­di­tional time to re­cu­per­ate with Buf­falo en­ter­ing its bye week af­ter play­ing the Jets.

Vet­eran backup Derek An­der­son had al­ready been ruled out with a con­cus­sion.

The Bills also an­nounced start­ing rookie mid­dle line­backer Tre­maine Ed­munds has been cleared to play af­ter miss­ing one game with a con­cus­sion. They also pro­moted re­ceiver Robert Fos­ter from the prac­tice squad and re­leased line­backer Ra­mon Hum­ber.

Buf­falo (2-7) has lost four straight and is off to its worst start since los­ing eight of its first nine games in 2010. The game be­tween the two AFC East teams will fea­ture a matchup of back­ups rather than first-round picks.

The Jets (3-6) are start­ing 39year-old Josh McCown with rookie Sam Darnold side­lined by a strained right foot. Darnold was drafted third over­all, four spots ahead of Allen.

Barkley is on his sixth team in six sea­sons since be­ing se­lected by Philadel­phia in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He was most re­cently in Cincin­nati be­fore be­ing cut by the Ben­gals in Septem­ber af­ter hurt­ing his knee in a pre­sea­son game.

“It hasn’t maybe been the plan I signed up for when I thought of go­ing to the NFL,” Barkley said of his pro ca­reer, which came af­ter he set nu­mer­ous school records as a four-year starter at South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. “But from what I’ve been able to learn along the way, I think I’m in a great spot right now.”

Over­all, Barkley has gone 159 for 266 for 1,911 yards pass­ing with eight touch­downs and 18 in­ter­cep­tions in 11 NFL ap­pear­ances.

That’s much bet­ter than Peter­man’s pro­duc­tion since be­ing se­lected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.

Peter­man has thrown seven in­ter­cep­tions in four ap­pear­ances this sea­son, in­clud­ing three in a 41-9 loss to Chicago last week­end.

Buf­falo has scored a league­worst 96 points and just two touch­downs in its past four games. The quar­ter­backs have com­bined for just three touch­downs pass­ing and 16 in­ter­cep­tions, in­clud­ing five by Allen.

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