Giovani Bernard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Running Back #25
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Running Back #25
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Giovani Bernard News

Staying with Tampa

Bernard is re-signing with the Buccaneers on a one-year contract, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The 30-year-old RB reportedly fielded offers from multiple teams before deciding to stay in Tampa Bay, where he had eight carries and 23 catches in 12 games last season. Bernard should continue to have a role on third downs, though Leonard Fournette -- also re-signed this offseason -- has proven capable of handling much of the receiving workload out of the backfield. The Bucs did lose Ronald Jones to the Chiefs in March, but he and Bernard were never competing for the same snaps anyway.

Apr 1, 2022 11:17 AM EST


Quiet end to season

Bernard did not log a rush attempt and failed to bring in his only target during the Buccaneers' 30-27 loss to the Rams in their NFC divisional-round matchup Sunday. He also returned one punt for two yards.

Analysis: The veteran running back logged just nine snaps from scrimmage with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) back in the fold, and no other running back but the latter ended up seeing any carries. Bernard was serviceable when given opportunities this past season, even though those were few and far between. The 30-year-old rushed just eight times for 58 yards, but he did bring in 23 of 29 targets for 123 yards and three touchdowns across 12 regular-season games. He also enjoyed his most productive performance by far during the wild-card win over the Eagles, when he rushed 13 times for 44 yards and a touchdown and added another 39 yards on five grabs. Bernard is due to head back into unrestricted free agency at the start of the new league year, and it remains to be seen if he and the Buccaneers will be interested in having him remain in Tampa.

Jan 24, 2022 11:45 AM EST



Faces added competition for backfield work

Bernard's teammate, Leonard Fournette (hamstring) has been activated off IR by the Buccaneers ahead of Sunday's playoff game against the Rams, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, Ronald Jones (ankle) remains out this week, but with Fournette set to see his first game action since Week 15, both Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn -- who shared backfield work in the team's wild-card win over the Eagles last weekend -- figure to see decreased volume Sunday. Though Bernard could still potentially make his mark in a change-of-pace role, his divisional-round fantasy ceiling takes a hit with Fournette's return to the mix.

Jan 22, 2022 1:59 PM EST


Avoids injury designation

Bernard (hip/knee) doesn't carry an injury designation ahead of Sunday's game against the Rams, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Bernard's full practice participation Friday put any doubts about his availability to rest. Meanwhile, Ronald Jones (ankle) has been ruled out and Leonard Fournette (hamstring) remains on IR. A decision on Fournette's status will come down before 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, at which time it will be made clear whether Bernard will work as part of a three-man backfield or split touches with Ke'Shawn Vaughn, as was the case in the wild-card round win over the Eagles. Bernard thrived as part of a two-man timeshare against Philadelphia, totaling 83 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on 18 touches.

Jan 21, 2022 1:44 PM EST


Gets in limited work Thursday

Bernard (hip/knee) practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Despite having a cap on his reps in back-to-back sessions to begin the week, Bernard likely is the third biggest question mark in the Buccaneers backfield. Leonard Fournette has practiced both days this week but still is on IR due to a strained hamstring, while Ronald Jones was absent both days as he tends to an ankle injury. The team has until 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday to bring back Fournette to the active roster, but if he and Jones can't suit up Sunday versus the Rams, Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn likely will share the RB load this weekend, assuming Bernard is active.

Jan 20, 2022 2:03 PM EST



Logs limited practice Wednesday

Bernard (hip/knee) was a limited practice participant Wednesday.

Analysis: In his return from injured reserve this past Sunday against the Eagles following a four-game absence, Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn both earned a 49 percent share of offensive snaps with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) still on IR and Ronald Jones (ankle) ruled out. Overall, Bernard turned 13 carries and five catches into 83 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown, while Vaughn had 19 touches for 62 total yards and a TD. Bernard's practice limitations may be maintenance related, but the Buccaneers backfield should be monitored to see who among himself, Fournette, Jones -- who didn't practice Wednesday -- and Vaughn will be available for Sunday's divisional-round game versus the Rams.

Jan 19, 2022 1:34 PM EST


Key role in return

Bernard (hip/knee) rushed 13 times for 44 yards and a touchdown and brought in five of seven targets for 39 yards during the Buccaneers' 31-15 win over the Eagles in an NFC wild-card matchup Sunday.

Analysis: The veteran suited up for the first time since Week 14, and with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and Ronald Jones (ankle) both out of action, Bernard played a significant role. Bernard logged only four fewer carries than backfield pacesetter Ke'Shawn Vaughn and checked in second in both receptions and receiving yards on the afternoon. He also opened the scoring on the afternoon with a two-yard touchdown to cap off a 12-play, 75-yard game-opening drive for the Buccaneers, making it a very fruitful fantasy afternoon. Despite Sunday's success, however, Bernard's opportunities could certainly take a hit in next weekend's divisional-round clash against either the 49ers or Cowboys if at least one of Fournette or Jones is active for the contest.

Jan 16, 2022 1:48 PM EST


Active for first time since Week 14

Bernard (hip/knee) is active for Sunday's wild-card game against the Eagles.

Analysis: With his return from a pair of injuries now confirmed, Bernard is poised to make his first appearance since Week 14. He'll rejoin a Buccaneers backfield that is without Ronald Jones (ankle) and Leonard Fournette (hamstring), the latter of whom remains on injured reserve. Considering this reality, Bernard could be poised for more work than normal if Tampa Bay decides to lean on the passing attack, but Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Le'Veon Bell are around for early-down and goal-line work. On the season, Barner has recorded 23 catches (on 29 targets) and eight carries en route to 181 yards from scrimmage and three receiving touchdowns in 12 contests.

Jan 16, 2022 8:33 AM EST


Questionable for Sunday's game

Bernard (hip/knee), whom the Buccaneers activated from injured reserve Saturday, is listed as questionable for Sunday's wild-card matchup with the Eagles, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Sidelined since Week 14 due to an MCL sprain in his knee and strained tendon in his hip, Bernard is closing in on a full recovery from the pair of injuries. His status will be confirmed about 90 minutes before Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff, and assuming he's active he'll likely serve as the pass-catching complement to Ke'Shawn Vaughn out of the Buccaneers backfield with Ronald Jones (ankle) out and Leonard Fournette (hamstring) still on IR. Aside from Bernard and Vaughn, Tampa Bay also has Le'Veon Bell and special teamer Kenjon Barner available at running back.

Jan 15, 2022 6:04 PM EST


Off injured reserve

The Buccaneers activated Bernard (hip/knee) from injured reserve Saturday, Carmen Vitali of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: The same can't be said for Leonard Fournette, who will miss a fourth contest in a row Sunday versus the Eagles with a strained hamstring. Bernard himself is putting an end to a four-game absence due to hip and knee injuries, and he'll join Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Le'Veon Bell as Tampa Bay's options out of the backfield with Ronald Jones (ankle) not able to play. On the season, Bernard has averaged 7.3 yards on his eight carries and hauled in 23 of 29 targets for 123 yards and three touchdowns in 12 appearances.

Jan 15, 2022 1:15 PM EST


Back at practice

The Buccaneers have designated Bernard (hip) for return from IR and he is practicing Wednesday.

Analysis: Tampa Bay also designated top running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) for return to practice Wednesday, and it appears that he could have a fair chance to earn clearance for Sunday's playoff matchup against the Eagles. If Fournette does manage to come off IR in time for Sunday's game, Bernard would only stand to handle a depth or change-of-pace role if activated. The Buccaneers also have Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Le'Veon Bell available, though Ronald Jones (ankle) is tending to an injury.

Jan 12, 2022 7:49 AM EST


Takes part in side work at practice

Bernard (hip) was spotted working off to the side during the portion of Thursday's practice that was open to the media, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Analysis: Bernard doesn't look as though he'll mix into team drills Thursday, so at this stage, the Buccaneers have yet to designate him for return from injured reserve. That doesn't bode well for his chances of being activated ahead of Sunday's regular-season finale with the Panthers, potentially leaving Tampa Bay with a thin backfield. Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is also working off to the side Thursday but isn't eligible to come off IR until the playoffs, while Ronald Jones (ankle) isn't practicing for the second day in a row and looks to be trending toward sitting out the regular-season finale. Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Le'Veon Bell are currently the only healthy running backs on the roster.

Jan 6, 2022 8:37 AM EST


Could return Sunday

Coach Bruce Arians said Monday that Bernard (hip/knee) could return from injured reserve ahead of Sunday's game against Carolina, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.

Analysis: Bernard has been sidelined since mid-December due to a strained hip and an MCL sprain, but he could be back in action for the Buccaneers' regular-season finale. If he's ultimately available, he should compete for backfield work with Ke'Shawn Vaughn (ribs) and Le'Veon Bell if Ronald Jones (ankle) is out.

Jan 3, 2022 9:32 AM EST


Onto injured reserve

The Buccaneers placed Bernard (hip/knee) on injured reserve Tuesday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Bernard was knocked from the Bucs' Week 14 overtime win against the Bills due to a hip injury. Not only was he eventually diagnosed with a strained hip, an MCL sprain is among the reasons he is heading to IR. Bernard will miss at least three games as a result of the move, meaning his next potential game action won't come until Week 18 against the Panthers, at the earliest. Tampa Bay has been riding Leonard Fournette out of the backfield all season, but Ronald Jones and Ke'Shawn Vaughn now are the other candidates to get on the field in obvious passing situations in place of Bernard.

Dec 14, 2021 1:30 PM EST


Dealing with MCL issue

Bernard suffered an MCL injury in addition to his hip strain in Sunday's win over the Bills, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Bernard will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of his hip injury Monday, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports. Although initial X-rays revealed that he didn't suffer a fracture in his hip, it appears as though the running back will be forced to miss time due to his combination of knee and hip injuries.

Dec 13, 2021 11:22 AM EST


No fracture in hip

Bernard is scheduled for further tests Monday on the hip he injured during Sunday's win over the Bills, but X-rays revealed the veteran did not suffer a fracture, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Thus, the initial outlook for Bernard is cautiously optimistic, although there's always a chance further evaluation reveals a less rosy picture. Bernard logged seven snaps from scrimmage and another five on special teams before suffering the injury in the second half, failing to record a carry or target.

Dec 13, 2021 5:22 AM EST


Suffers hip injury Sunday

Bernard won't return to Sunday's game against the Bills due to a hip injury, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Bernard remained on the turf near the end of the first half and needed assistance from team trainers to get off the field before he was carted to the locker room. Prior to his departure, he had no touches. The Buccaneers thus are left with Ronald Jones and Ke'Shawn Vaughn behind No. 1 running back Leonard Fournette.

Dec 12, 2021 3:22 PM EST


17 all-purpose yards in win

Bernard rushed once for three yards, brought in one of two targets for seven yards and returned two punts for seven yards in the Buccaneers' 30-17 win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Analysis: Bernard played just seven snaps from scrimmage despite Ronald Jones' early exit from the contest with an illness. The veteran back also filled in as the primary returner with Jaelon Darden (concussion) out of action, and although he didn't get any kickoff return opportunities, he did run back the pair of punts. Bernard could continue pulling double duty if Darden is unable to suit up for the Week 14 showdown against the Bills.

Dec 6, 2021 6:35 PM EST


Reduced to special-teams work

Bernard did not log a carry or target on his one offensive snap during Sunday's 38-31 win over the Colts.

Analysis: Bernard did log 16 special-teams snaps, but he went without a touch from scrimmage for the first time all season. However, with primary returner Jaelon Darden having suffered a concussion Sunday and Bernard having some kick-return experience, it's possible he's called up in that capacity during a Week 13 road matchup versus the Falcons.

Nov 29, 2021 9:31 PM EST


One catch in win

Bernard did not log a rush attempt, secured his only target for three yards and returned one kickoff for 18 yards in the Buccaneers' 30-10 win over the Giants on Monday night.

Analysis: Bernard logged a return opportunity for the second straight game and played six special-teams snaps overall alongside eight plays from scrimmage. The veteran back has at least one reception in every game this season but has now failed to log a rush attempt in three of the past five contests, leaving him as only a longshot fantasy option in very deep formats.

Nov 23, 2021 9:21 PM EST


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