With Joe Mixon back in action, Bernard had to relinquish a considerable number of snaps early in the contest, but he took over on passing downs, especially late in the game. The division of labor was a potentially good preview of how he and Mixon will operate together next season. After being a forgotten asset early on, Bernard rallied to have a productive final five weeks of the season. He ended with 458 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He also enjoyed his trademark success in the passing game, logging 43 receptions for 389 yards and an additional pair of scores.
While Joe Mixon (ankle) is expected to play Sunday against the Ravens if he incurs no setbacks during pregame warmups, Bernard appears positioned to see the bulk of the carries during the contest, Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com reports.
Marginalized in the Cincinnati offense for much of the season, Bernard has come on strong over the Bengals' last four games while Mixon has been limited to just 24 snaps during that span due to a concussion and the ankle issue. Mixon was able to practice on a limited basis this week and plans to go through pregame warmups, but since it sounds like he's not quite 100 percent, the Bengals seem inclined to err on the side of caution and limit his workload. That leaves Bernard with unfettered access to the leading role, though he'll be hard pressed to replicate his success from the past few weeks against a stout Ravens defense that has allowed more than 100 rushing yards just once in its last eight games.
Marginalized in the Cincinnati offense for much of the season, Bernard has come on strong over the Bengals' last four games while Mixon has been limited to just 24 snaps during that span due to a concussion and the ankle issue. Mixon was able to practice on a limited basis this week and plans to go through pregame warmups, but since it sounds like he's not quite 100 percent, the Bengals seem inclined to err on the side of caution and hold him out. That leaves Bernard with unfettered access to the leading role, though he'll be hard pressed to replicate his success from the past few weeks against a stout Ravens defense that has allowed more than 100 rushing yards just once in its last eight games.
Bernard (ankle) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Ravens after practicing fully Friday.
Meanwhile, Joe Mixon (ankle) is listed as questionable for the game after practicing in a limited fashion the last two days. If Mixon is able to suit up Sunday, Bernard, who logged 168 yards from scrimmage in Week 16, would move back into a time-share, but either way, he should see enough touches to merit Week 17 fantasy consideration, more so if Mixon is held out.
Bernard (ankle) was listed as a limited participant at Thursday's practice.
The limited showing Thursday implies that Bernard's ankle issue isn't a major concern, but the running back may need to practice fully Friday to avoid an injury designation heading into the weekend. More significant than Bernard's health is that of backfield mate Joe Mixon (ankle), who was also limited Thursday. If Mixon is unable to suit up in the season finale against the Ravens, Bernard, who tallied 168 yards from scrimmage in the Week 16 win over Detroit, would have the lead-back duties all to himself.
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