In light of a separated shoulder Matt Barkley sustained while playing against UCLA back in December that sidelined him for USC’s Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech, the Trojan quarterback will not participate in passing drills at the NFL combine.
In a statement his agents sent to NFL teams on Monday, Barkley “will be attending the upcoming scouting combine in Indianapolis, but he will not be throwing or participating in any on-field testing components while there.”
Earlier in February, it had been reported by USC’s athletic department that Barkley would not throw at this week’s combine, but he dismissed that idea on Twitter. Now, it is evident that he will indeed forgo the passing drills.
NFL scouts were anticipating watching him throw, to gauge whether he should be the top quarterback selected in April. The jury on that will now have to stay out for just a little while longer.
Though he will not throw, Barkley considers the combine to be a major milestone in his career, and he looks forward to the interviews with the NFL teams, one of which will likely nab him as their future franchise quarterback.
While he continues to rehab and prepare for the NFL Combine and, more importantly, USC’s Pro Day, Barkley now trains at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Prior to that, he spent a month in Birmingham, AL, under the supervision of doctors Jim Andrews and Lyle Cain, and physical therapist Kevin Wilk.
Those who have examined and worked with Barkley say he has made outstanding progress. He already has been cleared to throw at USC’s Pro Day on March 27, and his shoulder is “90 [percent] of complete recovery” according to the statement from his agents.