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Titans Lose Third QB to NFC Team

Matt Barkley had spent the entire season on the practice squad before Carolina signed him to address its injury issues.

A lively Tuesday of Tennessee Titans transactions culminated with the news the team had lost Matt Barkley, its practice-squad quarterback.

The Carolina Panthers have signed Barkley to its 53-man roster, a source confirmed.

Barkley had been one of the Titans’ four protected practice-squad players every week this season, meaning no other team could claim him once that protection was in place each Tuesday.

But Monday remains open season on claiming practice-squad players, a process that gives those players an increased opportunity for upward mobility. The Panthers’ decision to sign Barkley began Monday, according to a source, before he could be protected. The Titans likely would have protected Barkley once again this week had the opportunity arrived.

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Carolina needed a quarterback because starter Sam Darnold is dealing with a shoulder injury. Darnold also suffered a concussion in late October. The Panthers’ second-string quarterback is P.J. Walker, who has played seven career NFL games, including three this year – completing three-of-15 passes.

In losing Barkley, the Titans bid farewell to the second-most experienced quarterback in the organization. Barkley had played at least one NFL game in six previous seasons. The 31-year-old has played in 19 NFL games overall and made seven starts, posting a 2-5 record in those contests.

The Titans signed Barkley late after they cut DeShone Kizer early in training camp. He completed 24-of-39 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception, during the preseason but lost the battle to back up Ryan Tannehill to Logan Woodside. Barkley was released and then re-signed to the practice squad.

Woodside remains Tannehill’s backup, but the Titans no longer have another option on the practice squad. The 26-year-old Woodside has not seen much NFL action during his two-year tenure as the second-stringer. Ryan Tannehill has not missed a start since he got the job six games into the 2019 season. Woodside has played in three games this year, taking one snap in each.

This is the second straight season the Titans have had a practice-squad quarterback poached off the team’s practice squad. In 2020, the Titans lost Trevor Siemian, who was signed in late November by the New Orleans Saints. Siemian will return to Nissan Stadium on Sunday as the Saints’ likely starter. He started last Sunday for New Orleans, completing 25-of-41 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.