The Eagles have added a tailback who shouldn’t need much time to pick up Chip Kelly’s offense.
The club announced Tuesday night it had acquired Panthers running back Kenjon Barner for a conditional 2015 seventh-round pick.
The 25-year-old Barner played collegiately at Oregon under Kelly, rushing for 3,623 yards and 41 touchdowns. A 2013 sixth-round pick of the Panthers, Barner appeared in eight games as a rookie, rushing six times for seven yards, catching two passes for seven yards and returning two kickoffs for 17 yards.
“Kenjon will hopefully bring some depth to both our running back and return positions,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said in a team-issued statement Tuesday night. “He’s obviously a guy I know really well from Oregon, where he had a very productive career. He has a lot of speed, explosiveness and had a knack for making some really big plays. But our plan with him right now is get him in Philadelphia as soon as we can and plug him in at running back and returner and let him compete.”
Barner’s addition gives the Eagles seven tailbacks. He’ll vie for a reserve role in the Philadelphia backfield. Darren Sproles, Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker, Henry Josey and David Fluellen are the other options behind starter LeSean McCoy. Polk is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Eagles rookie Josh Huff, who’s listed as the club’s second-team kickoff returner, will miss the Eagles’ third preseason game with a shoulder injury, which could lead to Barner getting some special teams work in his Philadelphia debut.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are left with just four tailbacks: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker and Darrin Reaves. However, fullback Mike Tolbert will also see some carries.