McGuire will be available Sunday, and the difference between him being the third man up in a running back committee or acting as Bilal Powell's complement this weekend, hinges on the availability of Matt Forte (knee), who the Jets list as questionable for Week 15 action.
The knee injury Bernard picked up in the Week 14 loss to the Bears was never considered significant, especially after the running back amassed 130 total yards in the contest and wasn't forced to depart early due to the issue. With Joe Mixon (concussion) sitting out last week and exiting early in the game before, Bernard has thrived while taking on increased volume out of the backfield, but his run as the Bengals' lead back could soon come to an end. Mixon is listed as questionable for the Week 15 matchup, but after putting in a full practice Friday, he only needs to gain clearance from an independent neurologist over the next two days in order to play. If Mixon is active Sunday, he and Bernard could split snaps, which would limit the fantasy upside of both players.
Mixon remains in the NFL's concussion protocol, but his advancement from non-participation in practice to begin the week to a full session Friday implies that he's made some steady progress in his recovery in recent days. The running back will likely be evaluated by an independent neurologist Friday or Saturday, at which point he could gain clearance to play Sunday. If Mixon is given the green light to suit up, the Bengals could opt to ease him back into the backfield mix following a one-game absence, in which case the rookie would likely split work with Giovani Bernard.
Davis injured his ribs in the fourth quarter of last week's 30-24 loss to Jacksonville, finishing with 15 carries for 66 yards, after taking 16 for 64 yards the previous week against the Eagles. He returned to full practice participation Thursday and is locked in as the lead rusher for Sunday's matchup with a Rams defense that's giving up 4.7 yards per carry and 124.1 rushing yards per game.
Miller's practice reps were capped Wednesday and Thursday, but it seems that was done for maintenance-related reasons than out of legitimate concern about the running back's health heading into the Week 15 matchup. With T.J. Yates set to make his first start of the season Sunday, the Texans may try to get Miller and the ground game going early in Jacksonville, but the 26-year-old may struggle to find success on that front after managing only 3.8 yards per carry against the Jaguars in Week 1.
The same applies to Alfred Blue (concussion), so Ellington is in line to have have some company in the Texans' backfield mix behind starter Lamar Miller (knee) on Sunday. In a backup time-share, neither Ellington nor Blue represent high-percentage fantasy plays against the Jaguars' run D, which has allowed just six rushing TDs through 13 games.
Even if Williams had made more progress in his recovery this week and gained clearance to play, Drake still likely would have retained the lead-back role due to the outstanding production he's provided the past two games. In those contests, Drake has amassed 234 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, showcasing both big-play ability and power between the tackles. He'll profile as a strong fantasy option once again Sunday against a Bills defense that has surrendered 354 yards on the ground over the past two weeks.
Williams built some optimism about a potential return this week by returning to practice on a limited basis Thursday, but it appears he's nonetheless trending toward a third consecutive absence due to the dislocated left shoulder. Assuming Williams sits out, Kenyan Drake will once again handle the bulk of the touches out of the Dolphins' backfield. Considering Drake has reeled off 100-plus-yard rushing performances the last two weeks, Williams may have to settle for a limited role in the Dolphins' offense once he's cleared to play again.
Benefitting from some extra time coming out of a Thursday game, Kamara was a full practice participant all week and made it through the concussion protocol with time to spare. There should be plenty of touches to go around for both him and Mark Ingram, as the Jets are massive underdogs for Bryce Petty's first start of the season. Kamara had five straight games with at least five catches, 116 scrimmage yards and a touchdown before he suffered a concussion on the opening drive of last Thursday's 20-17 loss to the Falcons.
Williams struggled early in the season after replacing the injured David Johnson (wrist) as the Cardinals' lead back, but he's been far more productive in his second trial in that role since Peterson went down in Week 12. Over the past two contests, Williams has scampered for 170 yards on 36 carries (4.7 average), numbers that likely won't afford backups D.J. Foster or Elijhaa Penny to immediately cut into his workload. Williams draws a favorable matchup in Week 15 against a Redskins defense that has allowed 4.3 yards per carry this season, the sixth-worst mark in the NFL.