Kenjon Barner thriving in Philly, despite absence of Chip Kelly

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Former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, a sixth-round pick of the Panthers in 2013 who inevitably landed in Philadelphia via a trade with his former college head coach, is still in Philly even after Chip Kelly has gone. Last year, a strong preseason won Barner a spot on the 53-man roster. This year, a strong offseason could be helping Barner even more.

As explained by Eliot Shorr-Parks of, Barner’s performance coupled with the absences of DeMarco Murray (also gone), Ryan Mathews (recovering from surgery), and Darren Sproles (absent from OTAs and likely gone, eventually) has put Barner in line to potentially become the team’s starting tailback.

Barner’s receiving talents serve him well in coach Doug Pederson’s offense. It also doesn’t hurt that Barner has high-end return skills, which helped him stick with the team in 2015.

Eventually, it could be Barner and rookie Wendell Smallwood vying for playing time and touches in 2016. At a time when the Eagles seem to be intent on shedding as many former Kelly players as possible from the roster, maybe they relish the chance to get the most out of a Kelly’s former Oregon protégé.

19 responses to “Kenjon Barner thriving in Philly, despite absence of Chip Kelly

  1. He put on some muscle in the offseason and kept his quicks. He has a good chance to be a nice sleeper.

  2. Shouldn’t we wait for games to start before we start saying player X is “thriving”?

    It’s May for crying out loud. I’m sure there are plenty other guys around the league who are equally “thriving” in helmets, shorts and t-shirts.

  3. He has 131 rushing yards in two seasons, training camp this year hasn’t even started and yet he’s “thriving”?

    Got to love the east coast sports media.

  4. I might sound ridiculous in saying this, but the Eagles might be the frontrunner of the NFC East.

    Everyone is pushing Dallas as the favorite down our throats because Tony Romo is not hurt right now. However, Jason Witten can’t play anymore and the pass rush will be gone for the first four games. Sounds an 8-8 team to me.

    With Philly technically upgrading at running back with not just Mathews over Murray but Barner too, a slightly revamped WR corps with Reuben Randle, and Jim Schwartz and his ex-Bills and Wide-9 scheme, the Eagles look better than New York or Dallas.

    All Philly needs with its running backs is Sam Bradford out and Carson Wentz in.

  5. I don’t know about front runners, but they have as good as chance as anyone else. Redskins can’t beat a team with a winning record, Dallas is an injury away from another 4-12, and the Giants defense is awful. They threw a crap load of money at average players and their O-line is nothing special.

  6. The other Duck ( Marshall) is my pick to take Spriles spot. Not Barber. As for the Trolls saying Philly is a last place team..well we will see. The Birds defence is going to be good. Special teams is always good and the offense has no place to go but up from last yr. This team has as good a shot at the division as anybody

  7. I’ve followed the Eagles since the early 60’s. This group looks like a 4 to 6 win team. Hype it all you want. Who on their team will keep opposing coordinators up at night?

  8. Thriving in the off season?

    That says a lot… desperate Philly fans looking for anything positive.

    Welcome to the cellar …again

  9. Report comment
    700levelvet says:
    May 29, 2016 2:24 PM
    It’s the typical Eagles BS..both him and Smallwood are scrubs…

    Didn’t you say the same thing last year about Jordan Hicks?

  10. “Darren Sproles (absent from OTAs and likely gone, eventually)”

    Please do not spew trash that you do not know about!
    I hope to GOD that Sproles goes nowhere!

    I think 80-90% of philly fans will say the same thing!

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