ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills are going with newly signed journeyman Matt Barkley as their starting quarterback, rather than provide turnover-prone Nathan Peterman another chance.
The Bills ruled out injured rookie Josh Allen on Saturday and announced Barkley is expected to start against the New York Jets on Sunday. Barkley gets the nod ahead of Peterman despite having just two weeks of practice experience since signing Oct. 30.
Barkley will become the fourth quarterback to start for the team this season, and third in three weeks. It will be his first start in two years since going 1-5 with the Chicago Bears in 2016.
Allen will miss his fourth straight game since spraining his right throwing elbow in a 20-13 loss at Houston on Oct. 14. The first-round pick practiced on a limited basis this week and will get additional time to recuperate with Buffalo entering its bye week after playing the Jets.
Veteran backup Derek Anderson had already been ruled out with a concussion.
The Bills also announced starting rookie middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has been cleared to play after missing one game with a concussion. They also promoted receiver Robert Foster from the practice squad and released linebacker Ramon Humber.
Buffalo (2-7) has lost four straight and is off to its worst start since losing eight of its first nine games in 2010.
The game between the two AFC East teams will feature a matchup of backups rather than first-round picks.
The Jets (3-6) are starting 39-year-old Josh McCown with rookie Sam Darnold sidelined by a strained right foot. Darnold was drafted third overall, four spots ahead of Allen.
Barkley is on his sixth team in six seasons since being selected by Philadelphia in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He was most recently in Cincinnati before being cut by the Bengals in September after hurting his knee in a preseason game.
“It hasn’t maybe been the plan I signed up for when I thought of going to the NFL,” Barkley said of his pro career, which came after he set numerous school records as a four-year starter at Southern California. “But from what I’ve been able to learn along the way, I think I’m in a great spot right now.”
Overall, Barkley has gone 159 for 266 for 1,911 yards passing with eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 11 NFL appearances.
That’s much better than Peterman’s production since being selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.
Peterman has thrown seven interceptions in four appearances this season, including three in a 41-9 loss to Chicago last weekend. Overall, he’s thrown 12 interceptions in eight appearances and is best remembered for getting picked off five times in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers a year ago.
The Bills offense has struggled no matter who’s started this season.
Buffalo has scored a league-worst 96 points and just two touchdowns in its past four games. The quarterbacks have combined for just three touchdowns passing and 16 interceptions, including five by Allen.
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