The Los Angeles Chargers have found some added depth at the running back position. According to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Chargers have signed running back Kenjon Barner.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2017
This will be the third team for Barner, who was a sixth-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2013. After being given just six carries that season, he was released.
Barner was then signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, who at the time were coached by his former college head coach, Chip Kelly. Barner was given much more of an opportunity in Philadelphia, but still never reached the level that it looked like he was capable of while in college.
For his career, Barner has run for 260 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 16 receptions.
The Chargers have had many issues at running back and brought in a couple of castaways last season in Dexter McCluster and Ronnie Hillman. Barner will join what is becoming a crowded backfield, but could the Chargers be interested in using Barner as a return man?
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During the 2015 preseason, he was given the opportunity to return punts and returned punts for a touchdown in back-to-back games. However, he was never utilized in that role during the regular season. Guess you’d have to ask Kelly why that was.
Finding a capable return man is something the Chargers must do and Barner should be given every opportunity to do so. Quite frankly, it’s going to be difficult for him to make the final 53-man roster solely as a running back.
Barner joins Russell Okung as the only external free agents that general manager Tom Telesco has brought in this offseason.