CHIPPER: ‘BARNER MAKING A HUGE CASE’ TO MAKE EAGLES ROSTER

By Jack Ryan

The Oregon connection is coming in handy for Eagles running back Kenjon Barner.

Of course, his play during the first two Birds’ preseason games hasn’t hurt!

The Eagles have a 32-year-old Darren Sproles. And, quite possibly, an eventual 26-year-old replacement for him.

He’s making a huge case,” coach Chip Kelly said after the game, via Zach Berman of the Inky. “You go back-to-back weeks with a punt return for a touchdown. I think he made some good plays in the run game. . . . I think he’s putting himself in position. We talked about it last week and he’s continuing to do that.”

The Eagles kept only three running backs in 2014. They had planned to keep four in 2015, but that was before Chris Polk’s departure. It’s now looking like Barner will be tailback No. 4.

Barner knows he has a better chance of being the guy, if he can do as many things as possible.

“Being able to make an impact on special teams, kick return, kickoff, punt return, catching the ball out of the backfield — whatever it is, you have to find a place to fit in,” Barner said. “Our backfield is stacked, but that’s nothing new to me. I’ve been in a stacked backfield since college. It’s all about finding a place to fit in and opening eyes.”

Barner has opened his ears to Sproles, soaking up all the advice Barner can get. Even if, eventually, Barner will make it easier for Kelly to move on from Sproles.

That won’t be happening this year. But come next year or the year after, Barner could become the next Sproles for Kelly and company. For now, though, Barner is simply focused on doing his job and making the team.

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