The most important goal for every team in the preseason finale is “Don’t get any important players hurt.” So starting quarterbacks often don’t play at all.
In the case of the Eagles, the No. 2 quarterback won’t play at all either: Chip Kelly has confirmed that both starter Nick Foles and backup Mark Sanchez will sit Thursday’s fourth and final preseason game, and Matt Barkley will get the start. Kelly said he needs to see more out of Barkley, a fourth-round pick last year.
“We need to see Matt play a lot,” Kelly said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I think we feel comfortable in what Mark Sanchez has done in the first three games. We want to see Matt play for an extended period of time. I know Matt’s gotten in there into the twos, some three work. I think he’s done a really nice job. But we kind of thought about it as a staff, and I think Mark is 25 of 31 and has led us on a lot of scoring drives. We feel very comfortable with our one and two quarterbacks. So we’re going to give Matt a really extended look against the Jets on Thursday night.”
So far this preseason Barkley has 20 completions in 32 attempts, for 242 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Eagles hope Barkley can show more on Thursday night. And then they hope they won’t have to put him in a game again for the rest of the year.