Running back Kenjon Barner will have an opportunity to make his Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut on Sunday in Denver.
On Saturday, the Buccaneers elevated Barner from the practice squad, adding him to their pool of available players for their Week Four contest against the Broncos. That gives the team 54 players from which to choose up to 48 to be active for the game.
Tampa Bay signed Barner to their practice squad on September 10, using one of their veteran exceptions on the seventh-year running back and kick returner. Barner went to training camp with the Baltimore Ravens this summer but last year played for the Atlanta Falcons, returning 35 punts for 267 yards and one touchdown and 17 kickoffs for 406 yards.
Overall, Barner has played in 67 regular-season games for Carolina, Philadelphia and Atlanta, recording 416 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries along with 28 receptions for 152 yards. He originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick by the Panthers in 2013.
The option to elevate up to two players from the practice squad for each game is new in 2020 and the Buccaneers have made use of it in each of the first three weeks. This is the first time that Barner has been elevated; it's also the first the Bucs only used one of their two options.
The Buccaneers do not have to make Barner active on game day. They will either name six inactives on Sunday if they choose to keep 48 players active or seven if they go with 47 players. To keep 48 players active, the Bucs would have to keep at least offensive linemen among those active players.
The players who are elevated from the practice squad on Saturday do not have to be among the 47 or 48 active players. Last week, the Buccaneers elevated Grayson and Wilkins but made Grayson inactive after wide receiver Mike Evans was cleared to play on game day in New Orleans. However, with Godwin unavailable Grayson could get his first chance to play in Week Two. Wilkins was among the team's 48 active players against the Saints but did not get into the game.
Barner will automatically revert to the Buccaneers' practice squad on Monday without having to pass through waivers. This option can only be used twice during the season on any specific player; the Buccaneers have already used both of their options on wide receiver Cyril Grayson. Grayson could still be signed to the active roster but that, and any subsequent move to return him to the practice squad, would have to go through the normal means.