Kenjon Barner

Kenjon Barner

Running Back #34
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 196 lb.
College:Oregon
Age:31
Born:April 28, 1989
Drafted:2013 / Rd. 6 (182)
Draft Team:CAR

Kenjon Barner: Falcons' main returner in 2019

Barner ran for 28 yards on four carries and caught six of eight targets for 22 receiving yards during 2019. He also accumulated 267 punt return yards and one touchdown on 35 attempts and 406 kick return yards on 17 attempts.

Analysis: The 29-year-old finished top 10 in yards per punt return for the first time in his career during 2019, while his 23.9 yards-per-kick-return average ranked fifth best in the NFC. Barner becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and offers a special-teams ace to whichever team elects to sign the veteran. His offensive role will likely remain limited, however, as he hasn't garnered more than 28 rush attempts in any season since being drafted by Carolina in 2013.

January 4, 2020 5:12 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Will play Sunday

Barner doesn't carry an injury designation heading into Week 17's game against Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Barner was upgraded to a full participant in Friday's practice after managing both shoulder and hip injuries. The veteran is expected to handle return duties for the game, while providing depth at the running back position behind Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill for Week 17.

December 27, 2019 2:26 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Limited Thursday

Barner (shoulder/hip) was limited in practice Thursday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Barner has yet to miss practice this week despite multiple injuries. His status in Friday's session bears monitoring.

December 26, 2019 2:25 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Another limited practice

Barner (shoulder/hip) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Barner seemingly picked up a pair of injuries Week 15 against the Niners, but he was able to play through the ailments during Atlanta's Week 16 date with Jacksonville last weekend. Unless he suffers a setback of some sort, Barner probably will be good to go again for this weekend's season finale against Tampa Bay.

December 25, 2019 12:24 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Ready for Week 16

Barner (shoulder/knee) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's matchup with the Jaguars.

Analysis: Barner began the week not practicing but put in two consecutive limited sessions to avoid the questionable tag. The 30-year-old should serve his usual role as the Falcons' primary return man Sunday.

December 20, 2019 2:39 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Upgrades to limited practice

Barner (shoulder/knee) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Barner is nursing two injuries, but Thursday's limited practice represents tangible progress in his recovery. He'll serve as Atlanta's top kick and punt returner if cleared to suit up Week 16 against the Jaguars.

December 19, 2019 1:42 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: No practice Wednesday

Barner (shoulder) didn't participate in Wednesday's practice, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Barner's offensive usage is minimal behind Davonta Freeman and Brian Hill, but he's a valuable returner on kicks and punts. If Barner's injury is serious and keeps him out of Week 16's game against the Jaguars, Kendall Sheffield and Russell Gage could fill field kicks/punts in his place.

December 18, 2019 2:17 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Loses fumble against 49ers

Barner caught one of two targets for four receiving yards during Sunday's 29-22 win against the 49ers. He also collected 19 yards on four punt returns and lost one fumble.

Analysis: The seven-year NFL veteran once again served as the Falcons' primary return man Week 15, but his fumble on a punt return early in the fourth quarter set up San Francisco for a Jimmy Garoppolo-to-Kyle Juszczyk touchdown pass. Fortunately for Atlanta, Matt Ryan and the offense orchestrated consecutive TD drives in response to pull off the 29-22 upset, perhaps lessening the pressure on Barner for the late-game gaff. He has committed an alerting three fumbles on the season but has counteracted that flaw by establishing an 8.1 yards-per-punt return average -- good for ninth best in the NFL heading into Week 16.

December 16, 2019 7:26 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Adds two more catches in Week 13

Barner caught both of his targets for six receiving yards and registered a 47-yard kick return during Thursday's 26-18 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: The 29-year-old special-teams dynamo has seen an uptick in offensive involvement over the past three weeks, but the volume still has been nowhere near a level that would merit considering him as a weekly starter in fantasy lineups. He's garnered two offensive touches in each of Atlanta's past three games after commanding three total touches between Weeks 1 and 10, but Barner's consistent special teams role, as well as the presence of other serviceable running backs on the roster, limit his workload. Barner will continue to serve as a change-of-pace option to Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill in Week 14 when the Falcons take on the Panthers' bottom-six rush defense.

November 29, 2019 8:25 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Snags two passes

Barner caught both of his targets during Sunday's 35-22 loss to Tampa Bay for eight yards. He added eight yards on a punt return.

Analysis: Sunday's receptions were Barner's first since Week 4 and he's now earned multiple touches in back-to-back games. Far more of a returner than an offensive weapon, Barner has touched the ball on offense in four consecutive games after just two touches in his first six games of the season and has recorded double-digit offensive snaps in each of the past three weeks. The arrow is definitely pointing up, but the arrow itself is likely located too low to pay Barner too much mind. Next up is a New Orleans defense against whom Barner notched a 12-yard run in Week 10.

November 26, 2019 8:44 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Punt return TD against former team

Barner ran for 15 yards on two carries and recorded a 78-yard punt return touchdown during Sunday's 29-3 win against Carolina.

Analysis: On the same field in which he was decked by punter Matt Bosher (groin) late last season while a member of the Panthers, Barner ripped off a game-breaking punt return TD that helped Atlanta establish a 10-point lead on his former team of two years. Barner provided a substantial boost to an already stellar day for the Falcons D/ST, with Atlanta's defense generating four interceptions and five sacks. Should Devonta Freeman (foot) be forced to miss his second consecutive tilt next week against the Buccaneers' top-ranked rush defense, Barner will continue to split running back duties with Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison in addition to his special teams role.

November 17, 2019 7:29 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Full go Thursday

Barner (knee) was a full participant at Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barner has been dealing with a concussion and a knee injury, but looks as though he will suit up Sunday, barring a setback. His main impact will come on special teams, where he should fill in as the Falcons' primary return man.

October 10, 2019 5:15 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Upgraded for Wednesday's practice

Barner (knee) was listed as a limited participant for Wednesday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barner has been unable to practice the past two weeks dealing with a concussion and the knee injury, but as evidenced by this news, is progressing from the latter. It will be important to track his practice status as the week goes on, but if he can't go for Week 6, expect Kendall Sheffield to continue to be the team's top kick returner with Mohamed Sanu filling in on punt returns.

October 9, 2019 5:42 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Remains out Week 5

Barner (knee) was ruled out for Sunday's game at Houston, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barner missed last week's game due to a concussion and the knee injury, and though he's now clear of the concussion the knee issue will keep him sidelined for at least one more game. Kendall Sheffield is expected to work as Atlanta's top kick returner while Mohamed Sanu serves as the punt returner.

October 4, 2019 10:13 AM EST

Kenjon Barner: Still not practicing

Barner (knee) is not practicing Thursday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barner has fully cleared the league's concussion protocol, but it appears as though his knee injury could still sideline him during Sunday's tilt against the Texans. He'll have one more chance to resume practicing. If Barner is forced to miss any more time, Kendall Sheffield will step up as Atlanta's top kicker returner while Mohamed Sanu will serve as the team's No. 1 punt returner.

October 3, 2019 1:27 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Clear of concussion, not practicing

Barner (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: While Barner's knee injury kept him from practicing Wednesday, it's nonetheless a step in the right direction that he appears to have cleared the concussion protocol. If he's able to get healthy in time for Sunday's game against Texans, Barner will retake his usual role as Atlanta's top kick and punt returner.

October 2, 2019 2:36 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Won't play Sunday

Barner (concussion/knee) was ruled out for Sunday's game against the Titans, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Barner was a non-participant at practice Wednesday and Thursday, so it's not a major surprise to see him ruled out after suffering the concussion Sunday versus the Colts. Fellow RB Ito Smith (concussion) has been cleared to play and should take up his usual role splitting reps in the backfield with Devonta Freeman.

September 27, 2019 9:57 AM EST

Kenjon Barner: No practice Thursday

Barner (concussion/knee) was held out of practice Thursday.

Analysis: Unlike fellow running back Ito Smith, who also is in the concussion protocol, Barner didn't work with the special teams group during the portion of practice open to the media, according to Jason Butt of The Athletic. With no apparent progress made through his head injury to date, Barner is trending in the wrong direction for an appearance Sunday versus the Titans. Friday's injury report could provide a glimpse into that eventuality.

September 26, 2019 1:42 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Upgrades to limited practice

Barner (concussion) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barner appears to be progressing well in his recovery from a head injury sustained Week 3. He'll need to fully clear the league's concussion protocol before retaking the field, including being medically cleared by an independent neurologist, so it remains to be seen whether Barner will manage to get healthy in time for Sunday's tilt against the Titans.

September 26, 2019 1:26 PM EST

Kenjon Barner: Not practicing Wednesday

Barner (concussion/knee) did not practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Barner exited Sunday's loss to the Colts due to a head injury and isn't yet healthy enough to practice. With Ito Smith (concussion) also sidelined Wednesday, the Falcons could be forced to rely on Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill in Week 4 as reserve running back options behind Devonta Freeman. Additionally, if Barner misses any time Atlanta will roll with Justin Hardy and Kendall Sheffield as starting kick and punt returners, respectively.

September 25, 2019 2:19 PM EST

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