Former USC QB Matt Barkley starting for Buffalo Bills in preseason... at punter
In Matt Barkley’s Twitter handle, he writes “I play quarterback but that doesn’t define me.”
The Buffalo Bills took that quite literally. Barkley, a former USC quarterback and the Pac-12’s fifth-all-time-leading touchdown thrower, is punting for the Bills in their preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Bills’ punter tonight is Matt Barkley.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 26, 2022
ELITE ‼️✌️ @MattBarkley
— USC Football ✌️ (@USC_FB) August 26, 2022
The NFL vet’s first punt traveled 33 yards Friday night.
Barkley signed a one-year deal to return to Buffalo back in the spring and serve as Josh Allen’s backup. But with Buffalo holding out punter Matt Araiza amid serious and troubling allegations of raping a 17-year-old last October, the team was without a punter.
Araiza, 22, won the Bills’ starting punter job on Monday after Buffalo released veteran Matt Haack. Doing so left Araiza as the only punter on the roster.
According to a report from The Los Angeles Times on Thursday, a civil lawsuit filed in state court accused three past and present San Diego State University football players — Araiza among them — of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl last year at an off-campus party. Araiza issued a statement saying the “facts of the incident” are being misportrayed.