The speculation is over. After numerous reports indicated that USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley suffered a separated shoulder in the team’s loss to UCLA, it has been confirmed that Barkley suffered a sprain of the AC joint. For those unfamiliar with shoulder injuries, a sprain is the same as a separation.
We initially heard of the shoulder separation immediately following the game, but the news has now come from the man with one of the strictest injury policies in the nation — USC head coach Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin told the media today that Barkley would not pay for the Trojans when they face off against the No. 1 team in the nation next weekend. USC will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish but their chances of upsetting the top-ranked team took a serious hit with the news on Barkley’s shoulder.
In Barkley’s absence, redshirt freshman Max Wittek will get the start.
It is a tough break for Barkley who could have entered the 2012 NFL Draft and been a top twenty pick. Now, Barkley’s draft stock is beginning to slid and he will have to answer medical questions and tests during the pre-draft process.
For the Fighting Irish, it makes their road to the BCS National Championship that much easier. Notre Dame’s defense should have a field day against Wittek as they get one step closer to the title game.