As the Falcons prepare for their preseason opener against Denver in Thursday night's Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, there is no leader in the competition to be Devonta Freeman's backup. Several contenders have flashed different strengths in training camp, creating the possibility of a deeper rotation than in recent years.
"Today I would say it would be a different kind of shared role," Quinn said after Monday's practice.
"I'm not discouraged by any of them at all. I'm more encouraged," Quinn said, adding: "There hasn't been a separation" in the competition.
Second-year back Ito Smith ran for 315 yards and four touchdowns before a season-ending knee injury last year. He would seem to be the favorite. Quinn mentioned Hill's improvement and said Barner's versatility is suited for "third-down stuff."
NE RB Kenjon Barner - Week 8 Fantasy Football Outlook
Week 8 at Buffalo Bills
The Patriots head to Buffalo Monday night to face a Bills team they've averaged 33.7 points against in their last three meetings. New England has also scored at least 38 points in each of its last four games and has a Week 8 implied team total of 29 points. Sony Michel will not play this week, but it's too hard to know how the backs behind James White will be utilized. Right now, that's just Kenjon Barner on the roster, but practice squad back Kenneth Farrow has been taking hand-offs from Tom Brady this week in practice, much more of a power back than Barner. For now, Barner is a touchdown or bust FLEX option in deep leagues, as White will dominate the pass-catching work.