USC starting quarterback Matt Barkley is still nursing a shoulder injury. The injury is bad enough that Barkley will be replaced by redshirt freshman Max Wittek when the Trojans take on Georgia Tech during the New Year’s Eve bowl.
The injury which occurred during USC’s loss to UCLA on November 17 placed the 19-year-old Wittek into his first college game. Wittek completed 14 of 23 passes for 186 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Barkley’s chances at a return were unknown until Thursday. Previously head coach Lane Kiffin said the star QB’s shoulder would be re-evaluated after more than a month of nursing his injury.
On Thursday, Barkley sent out a tweet in which he revealed:
“Doctors haven’t cleared me to play, so I won’t be suiting up on Saturday. I’ll be here with my team to finish strong. Proud to be a Trojan!”
Barkley has not revealed whether he will play in the January 26 Senior Bowl, a decision that could have a direct impact on his stock in the April NFL draft.
Wittek was aware that he would like start in the Sun Bowl and therefore has been preparing for that role over the last two weeks, splitting first-team quarterback reps with freshman Cody Kessler.
Further details regarding the severity of Matt Barkley’s sprained right shoulder have not been revealed at this time.