Matt Barkley says shoulder is finally healthy

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Matt Barkley admits that his shoulder was less than 100 percent in the spring, but he's now healthy and ready to take live game snaps if needed.

Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Matt Barkley says that his shoulder injury is finally healed, and admits that it was less than 100 percent during the offseason program, which led to weaker passes than normal.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles noticed that Barkley didn't have "much jump in his passes" during his first practices with the team in May, and subsequently put him third on the depth chart. They now say that he's had more zip on his passes in recent weeks. Barkley told the Inquirer that he's "not sure what 100 percent means, but it doesn't bother me like it did."

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Barkley separated his shoulder last November during his junior year at USC. He missed the last two games of the season and the shoulder wasn't healthy during his Pro Day in March, leading to a lackluster performance. Once a projected first-round pick, Barkley fell to the fourth round before the Eagles drafted him.

Philadelphia was planning to make 2013 a "redshirt" year for the rookie. He's third on the depth chart and has been inactive every game so far, but circumstances have forced their hand this week. Michael Vick is unlikely to play due to a hamstring injury, so Nick Foles is expected to get the start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Barkley being his direct backup. Barkley will be dressing for the first time all season.

2013 is the first time in eight years that Barkley didn't enter a season as the starter. He won the starting job as a freshman in high school and held on to it all four years. Upon enrolling at USC, coach Pete Carroll named him the starter as a true freshman, and he kept that job until his shoulder injury late in 2012.

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