ORLANDO, Fla. – Quarterback Matt Barkley, who broke into the NFL under Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles, will make his second career start on Sunday. And it will come against his former coach.
The Chicago Bears on Thursday placed quarterback Jay Cutler on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Cutler is the third Bears quarter to go on IR, joining Brian Hoyer and rookie Connor Shaw. Barkley and San Jose State product David Fales are the only healthy Bears quarterbacks.
Barkley made his first career start last week in the Bears’ 27-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans. In two games, he has completed just 34 of 69 attempts (49.3 percent) for 397 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
“The game action has helped, but more importantly the practice time that I’ve gotten with the ones every day has been beneficial,” Barkley said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.
Barkley, who played collegiately at USC, entered the NFL in 2013 as a fourth-round draft pick of the Eagles under Kelly.
“Matt was one of the most prolific quarterbacks to ever play in the Pac-10/Pac-12,” Kelly said. “I coached against him in a lot of big games and he was always poised, never really got rattled. I think he’s got a really good arm. I think he’s got a real sharp mind.
“He’s getting his opportunity now, but I thought when you watched him play last Sunday, I thought he played really well against the Titans. So, we expect the same thing coming in and we better be prepared against him.”
Barkley appeared in four games in 2013 and ’14 for Kelly with the Eagles. He completed 30 of 50 passes for 300 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.
“It was definitely a unique experience to gain the knowledge of that type of offense,” Barkley said. “You don’t really see that in the NFL, so to learn that, the techniques the quarterbacks use in that system, the different reads, whether it was in the run game or the pass game, or combination of the two on a single play, it was it was pretty unique to be able to gain that experience for my first two years in the NFL.
“And now I’m back running a system that I’ve been used to for the better part of my career. But it’s nice I have both systems under my belt now to where I’ve got a broader view of teams that do everything.”