Barner Trade Sends Message To Eagles Running Backs
The move clearly sent a message to Eagles Running Backs that you better get healthy and perform or we have a plan in place to move on without you.
It appeared Chris Polk would be the third running back on the depth chart behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles following mini-camp. However, Polk has yet to get on the field in training camp. Chip Kelly’s patience appears to be wearing thin with Polk as well as Michael Tucker and David Fluellen who did not play last week against the Patriots.
“Tucker and Fluellen are in the same boat as Polk is,” Kelly stated. “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.”
Hours later, the Eagles acquired Barner.
Barner stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 195 pounds. He is in his second season out of Oregon and only carried the ball six times for seven yards as a rookie with the Panthers.
“He’s obviously a guy I know really well from Oregon, where he had a very productive career,” Kelly said. “He has a lot of speed, explosiveness and had a knack for making some really big plays.”
The Eagles now have seven running backs on their 90-man roster. That roster needs to be cut down to a maximum of 75 players by 4 p.m. on August 26. Final cuts down to the 53-man roster need to be made by 4 p.m. on August 30.
Kelly will likely keep four of those seven running backs. It is hard to imagine he would trade a seventh round pick for someone they ultimately cut before the season. That leaves one spot available for Polk, Tucker, Fluellen or Henry Josey.
Barner is expected to be in uniform for the Eagles Thursday night against the Steelers. How much he will play remains to be seen.