Posted by Chip Patterson
A little less than a month ago, Oregon saw backup running back Kenjon Barner carted off the field after getting leveled on a kickoff return against Washington State. His return to the practice field last week was impressive, though his limited participation made it seem as though his playing days were still a bit down the road for the speedy sophomore. Head coach Chip Kelly has not confirmed or denied any date for Barner's possible return to the playing field, but reports from practice seem encouraging for Ducks fans.
John Hunt, of The Oregonian, reported significant improvements from Monday's practice for Barner. He still has been wearing a non-contact jersey, but has been in full pads and increased participation with the new week. It is no secret that Oregon's top-ranked offense has been effective, even without Barner in the lineup.
But with Barner's ability to spell starting running back LaMichael James, as well as returning kicks for the special teams unit, the Ducks are a much better football team with him on the field. As strong as this Oregon team has looked this season, it would be a colossal disappointment to see the season lost on account of a late season upset loss. Barner back in the lineup gives them as good a chance as any to make sure that does not happen.