The Bengals can save $2.8 million in cap space if they release Bernard this offseason, Joe Goodberry of The Athletic reports.
The Bengals gave Bernard a two-year extension in September, but the deal doesn't seem to include any guarantees beyond the initial signing bonus. It's a reasonable contract for a solid backup, except for the fact that Bernard doesn't play special teams and didn't get many touches in 2019 (3.3 carries, 2.7 targets per game). With Joe Mixon capable of handling a three-down workload and presumably angling for a contract extension of his own, the Bengals could opt for the discount route at their No. 2 spot in the backfield, potentially looking to 2019 sixth-round draft picks Trayveon Williams and Rodney Anderson (knee) to fill the opening.
Bernard finished the season with a three-carry, four-yard performance in the Bengals' Week 17 win over the Browns.
Bernard saw just 18 offensive snaps, his second fewest of the season. He finished the campaign with 170 rushing yards to go along with 30 catches for 234 receiving yards, failing to reach the end zone in any of his 16 outings. His future with the Bengals would be in question but for a two-year contract extension he signed back in September.
Bernard had only two carries for three yards and two catches for 12 yards in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins despite getting 51 snaps on offense, good for a 57 percent share.
Joe Mixon came into the game dealing with the stomach flu, opening up the possibility that Bernard might get a little more work. While he was on the field more often, the Bengals still didn't turn to Bernard in any significant way. He heads into the season finale against Cleveland with exactly 400 scrimmage yards and zero touchdowns on the year, having not topping 46 yards in a game since Week 1.
Bernard had five carries for 27 yards and caught both his targets for 10 yards in Sunday's loss to the Patriots.
With Joe Mixon playing so well, the opportunities for Bernard to contribute have been few and far between. He still has not scored on the season, nor has he topped 31 rushing or 63 combined yards in any game this year.
Bernard had four carries for 15 yards and caught two of three targets for 31 yards in Sunday's loss to the Browns.
Joe Mixon once again got the lion's share of work at running back, but Bernard was on the field for 30 offensive snaps, good for 40 percent. This is about the peak expectation for him, absent a Mixon injury.
Bernard rushed once for four yards and caught one of two targets for eight yards in Sunday's win over the Jets.
The 28-year-old played a season-low 13 offensive snaps as Joe Mixon dominated the backfield work with 19 carries and four receptions. Bernard now has played only 34 plays on offense over the last two games. Andy Dalton reclaimed the starting job at quarterback and led the Bengals to their first win of the year, but the status quo for the veteran running back remains unchanged.
Bernard had three catches for 31 yards but just one carry that lost a yard during Sunday's loss to the Steelers.
Bernard was on the field for only 21 snaps, his second lowest of the season and third lowest as a percentage of the team's offensive snaps. With Andy Dalton returning for the final five games, there's a smidgen of hope that he'll be more productive, but it's a far cry from his top seasons, even with that hope.
Bernard had three carries for 30 yards and a catch for 16 yards on three targets in Sunday's loss to the Raiders.
After leaving Week 10 with a knee injury, Bernard was back at full speed this week, playing 33 offensive snaps.
Bernard (knee) isn't listed on Wednesday's injury report, Tyler Dragon of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Bernard sprained his knee during Sunday's 49-13 loss to the Ravens, with the injury causing him to leave the field for a spell before he ultimately re-entered the game. The 27-year-old's absence from the injury report suggests he's moved past the issue, so expect Bernard to play his usual complementary role behind Joe Mixon in Week 11 against Oakland.
Bernard suffered a knee sprain during Sunday's 49-13 loss to the Ravens, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
The report also notes that the running back -- who exited Sunday's game for a spell before re-entering the contest -- isn't expected to miss significant time. At a minimum, however, it appears as though Bernard's practice participation leading up to this coming weekend's contest against the Raiders will be impacted.
Bernard returned to Sunday's game against the Ravens after being forced out of the contest with a knee injury, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.
Initially, it appeared as though the Bengals were prepared to rule the running back out of the contest, but Bernard was able to return to the field and will now continue to work in backup/complementary role behind Joe Mixon.
Bernard was forced out of Sunday's game against the Ravens after suffering a right knee injury, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.
Prior to his exit, Bernard carried twice for 10 yards while working behind Joe Mixon. In his absence, added snaps could be available for reserve back Trayveon Williams.
Bernard had three carries for 31 yards and two catches for 14 more yards in Sunday's loss to the Rams.
Most of Bernard's production came on one longer run, and he was in the game frequently late as the Bengals tried to get one last score. He heads into the bye week with a meager 206 scrimmage yards and is still looking for his first score of the season.
Bernard didn't gain a yard on four carries and caught two of three targets for four yards in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Jaguars.
There was absolutely nowhere to run for the Bengals' backfield, as even Joe Mixon recorded just two yards on 10 carries. Although Mixon is the clear No. 1 running back, the Bengals' pitiful defense keeps Andy Dalton throwing, and Mixon hasn't marked 20 rushes in a game yet while averaging just 3.0 YPC. It's tough to hold onto Bernard even as a handcuff.
Bernard carried four times for a total of four rushing yards and caught two of three targets for 20 receiving yards during Sunday's 23-17 loss to the Ravens.
Game flow worked in favor of the Bengals' veteran passing-downs back, but Bernard still was largely uninvolved out of the backfield. He now has three or fewer targets in five of six games this season and has only once exceeded 20 receiving yards. In Week 7, he will be facing a Jaguars defense that allowed a combined 10 catches for 70 yards to top Saints backs Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray on Sunday.
Bernard ran for 10 yards on two carries and added 16 yards on three catches during Sunday's 26-23 loss to Arizona.
It was an overall good decent day for the Bengals rushing offense, ranked 31st in the league, but Joe Mixon, with 93 rushing yards, was the prime beneficiary. The 26 yards represented Bernard's highest total since Week 1 on a team that continues to struggle to put it together. His pass-catching ability may be a path forward as the Bengals visit Baltimore and the league's 27th-ranked pass defense Sunday.
Bernard rushed once for three yards and caught four of six targets for an additional 16 yards in Monday's loss to the Steelers.
Bernard saw seven carries in the season opener against Seattle, but he's seen his role decrease ever since, getting six and three carries in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively. The 27-year-old has, however, seen his targets out of the backfield increase, with Sunday's six being a season-high. Bernard also saw 23 offensive snaps (33 percent) in Monday's game.
Bernard was held to five rushing yards on three carries along with two catches for seven yards in Sunday's loss to the Bills.
Bernard was limited to 26 offensive snaps as Joe Mixon's ankle was fully healed this week. The Bengals' offense was stagnant for entire half, which severely curtailed the number of plays that they ran overall to boot. This level of participation is reminiscent of his usage last season.
Bernard ran for six yards on six carries and added a seven-yard reception during Sunday's 41-17 loss to the 49ers.
Bernard wasn't great running the ball in relief of Joe Mixon in Week 1's loss to Seattle, but at least made a big catch. There was no such luck Sunday against the 49ers. Through two games Bernard nor Mixon have been able to get the running game going for the Bengals. Week 3 doesn't offer much ease with a matchup against the stingy Bills.
Bernard carried seven times for 21 yards while adding 42 yards on two receptions (three targets) during Sunday's 21-20 loss to the Seahawks.
Bernard stepped into a larger role after Joe Mixon (ankle) left with an injury, and while he wasn't particularly effective on the ground, he made quite an impact as a pass-catcher. The extent of Mixon's injury should become more clear in the coming days, with virtually all of Bernard's fantasy value tied to the diagnosis. If his teammate is forced to miss time, Bernard would see a dramatic uptick in fantasy value, beginning as soon as next Sunday against the 49ers at home.
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