The Philadelphia Eagles have announced a trade that acquires Carolina Panthers running back Kenjon Barner for a 2015 conditional seventh-round draft pick. Barner has ties to Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly from his days at Oregon. Now, he is a member of the Eagles.
Barner was drafted in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oregon where he played for Kelly. During his rookie season with the Panthers, Barner appeared in eight games, but only carried the ball six times all season. At Oregon, the 5-9, 195 pound Barner rushed for 939 yards as a junior and 1,767 yards as a senior. He amassed 50 career rushing touchdowns in his college career and is known for his speed and big play ability. He will compete for a position as a returner as well as the third running back spot.
The Eagles have had a number of injury issues at the running back position which may have been the catalyst for the trade. Coming into training camp, the Eagles had hoped Chris Polk would come out and take the third running back spot behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. However, he has missed two weeks with a hamstring issue that has included both preseason games.
“I mean, you've got to be able to play,” Kelly said of Polk. “It's tough for us to say we know what you can do, but you've got to go out on the field and show it. We need to see who is going to go and play, but can't evaluate anybody if they're not going to play in games or practice.”
The Eagles were also without Matthew Tucker and David Fluellen against the Patriots. Running back Henry Josey stepped in and made the most of his opportunities. Barner will now be competing with all of them to earn a roster spot. He should get his first action with the Eagles Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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