Eagles Notes: Barkley is likely to see his last action for a while

Matt Barkley may be on the sideline, but he said he won't let the season "slip away" because he isn't playing. He was a four-year starter in high school and at Southern Cal. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Matt Barkley may be on the sideline, but he said he won't let the season "slip away" because he isn't playing. He was a four-year starter in high school and at Southern Cal. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: August 29, 2013

Matt Barkley's action in Thursday's preseason finale against the New York Jets could be the final time he plays in a game before next preseason. This is a dramatic change for a quarterback who was a four-year starter in high school and at Southern California.

Barkley said it would not change his approach for Thursday's game. Afterward, he will refocus his attention as the Eagles' third-string quarterback.

"I just think you come out each day looking to improve in something," Barkley said. "I don't know what that will be each week. Whether that's knowledge of the offense or installations and mastering those, helping Mike [Vick] out. But at the same time, [I'm] not letting the season slip away because I'm not playing. That's what I don't want. Making sure I can progress to when I come back next offseason steps ahead of where I was."

Barkley will see Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith on the other sideline. Smith and Barkley were among the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class. Smith, a second-round pick out of West Virginia, has a chance to start this season. Barkley, a fourth-round pick, was never truly in the mix in the Eagles' quarterback competition.

Barkley said he hasn't thought about facing Smith because he said he never puts thought into the opposing offense, and he's usually looking at photographs of plays with the coaches while the opposing offense is on the field.

The biggest question about Barkley going into the draft was his arm strength. He was recovering from a shoulder injury, and the initial impressions were not always favorable. Barkley said his arm is stronger than it was in the spring, and he believes it will get stronger.

"I think it took a lot longer to heal than we thought it would," Barkley said. "I feel strong where I am right now. I don't know if I've had the chance to really showcase that, but that's not up to me."

Click here for complete coverage of Philadelphia Eagles training camp.

Ailing Hunt waived

The Eagles declared waived/injured status on outside linebacker Phillip Hunt, which means Hunt can go on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Hunt has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The move left the roster at the league-mandated 75 players. The Eagles need to trim the roster to 53 on Saturday.

Eddie Whitley was waived with the same designation on Sunday and went on the injured reserve list when no one claimed him by Tuesday.

Dennis Kelly's progress

Eagles tackle Dennis Kelly said he is scheduled to have his back evaluated by doctors on Sept. 16 before he can be cleared to return. Kelly had surgery to repair a herniated disk on Aug. 8. The Eagles said then that he would miss the preseason.

The second-year tackle is expected to make the 53-man roster, but he would miss at least the first two games of the season. If his recovery takes longer, the Eagles could decide to place Kelly on season-ending injured reserve.

Kelly said that he wasn't sure whether he would be able to play right away once he is cleared by doctors. Heading into camp, he was the likely backup right tackle. Kelly started in 10 games last season as a rookie - seven at right tackle and three at right guard.

Lining up at cornerback

Cary Williams was signed to be the top cornerback, and he does not anticipate staying on one side the entire game. Williams did not want to give away defensive coordinator Bill Davis' defense, but he said he hopes there is flexibility that allows him to play on either side.

"It doesn't matter," Williams said. "Or I'm covering the best wide receiver, it doesn't matter. We've already discussed that, me and Coach Davis. We've had numerous conversations about what we're going to do."

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