The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have elevated running back Kenjon Barner from the practice squad, making him eligible to play in Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium.
The option to elevate up to two players from the practice squad for each game is new in 2020 and not related to the roster rule revisions instituted this summer to help teams deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in Barner's case his elevation in Week 11 is related to that issue.
Under the practice squad elevation rules included in the new collective bargaining agreement, any specific player can only be elevated twice in a season by one team. The Buccaneers had already used those two options on Barner in Weeks Three and Four against the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers. However, a team can elevate a player a third time if he is a replacement for a player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens has been on that list since November 14.
The is the first time the Buccaneers have used the practice squad elevation option since Week Six. The rule allows a team to add up to two players to their list of eligible men for a game without them having to be signed to the active roster, potentially increasing the pool of players on game day to 55. In this case, the Buccaneers carried 52 players on the active roster into Monday, so Barner's elevation will give them 53, from which they will choose 48 to be active for the game. Barner will automatically revert to the practice squad after the game without having to pass through waivers.
Barner played against the Broncos and Chargers, primarily on special teams though he did log four snaps on offense against Los Angeles and was targeted on one pass. He played on the kickoff return unit as well and returned one kickoff for 33 yards against the Chargers.
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.
Barner played for Carolina, Philadelphia, New England and Atlanta before coming to Tampa. In addition to his return contributions he has also rushed 100 times for 416 yards and three touchdowns and caught 28 passes for 152 yards.