|ADP:||Round: 13, Pick: 6|
|Team:||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Ht / Wt:||5'8" / 202 lb.|
|Born:||November 22, 1991|
|Drafted:||2013 / Rd. 2 (37)|
Bernard is signing a one-year deal with Tampa Bay, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Bernard doesn't offer much as a runner, but he's a reliable pass catcher who also has a reputation for being one of the better pass-blocking RBs in the league. The Bucs tried LeSean McCoy, Leonard Fournette and Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the third-down role at different points last season, and while Fournette finally came around in the playoffs, his missed blocks and drops in the regular season won't be totally forgotten. The Bucs also have Vaughn, Ronald Jones and C.J. Prosise in the backfield, so Bernard isn't likely to see many carries even if he ends up playing a decent number of snaps.
The Bengals released Bernard on Wednesday, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Bernard was scheduled for a $3.7 million base salary and up to $400,000 in bonuses in 2021, the second season of a two-year, $10.3 million extension. The Bengals asked him to take a pay cut a few weeks ago, and Bernard then requested his release when it became clear it wouldn't work out. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network says the 29-year-old running back is "expected to find a new gig soon." Meanwhile, the Bengals are left with Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams and Jacques Patrick as their depth RBs behind Joe Mixon.
Teams have called the Bengals to ask about Bernard, who could be traded or released if he doesn't restructure his contract, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reports that a trade or released would free up $4.2 million in cap space while leaving behind a dead-money charge of only $666,000. Keeping Bernard at his current salary isn't likely to be one of the options, but that doesn't necessarily mean the two parties won't be able to work something out. If worst comes to worst and he ends up being released, Bernard should at least attract some interest around the league among teams that need a third-down back.
Bernard ended the 2020 season in Week 17 with only three carries for seven yards, playing just 16 offensive snaps. He ended the season with 416 rush yards on 124 carries, good for a mere 3.4 yards per carry. He also had 47 receptions for 355 yards, and had a combined six rushing and receiving touchdowns.
Analysis: Bernard filled in adequately for an injured Joe Mixon, but had too many games like Week 17, even with Mixon out. He signed for one more year for his age 30 season, carrying a cap number of nearly $4.8 million.
Bernard carried the ball 16 times for 65 yards in Week 16 against the Texans. He added seven receptions on eight targets for 66 yards.
Analysis: Bernard worked as the Bengals' primary back, though Samaje Perine's involvement ensured he couldn't replicate his Week 15 workload. Even with fewer rushes, Bernard was excellent as a receiver and led the team in receptions. That made up for Bernard's relative lack of success on the ground, as he gained five yards on only five of 16 rushing attempts. Bernard's involvement in the passing attack should give him a safe floor even if Perine remains involved for the team's Week 17 matchup against the Ravens.
Bernard carried 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown and secured his only target for a 14-yard score in the Bengals' 27-17 win over the Steelers on Monday night.
Analysis: The veteran running back had topped out at 15 carries during his extended stint as the top back due to Joe Mixon's (foot) stay on injured reserve, but Monday night, he handled a career-high number of rush attempts. The bump in workload was especially significant when considering Bernard had seen just three rushing touches in Week 14 against the Cowboys after fumbling early in the game. He was a resurgent runner against Pittsburgh's tough defense, however, and he rewarded fantasy managers who rostered him in critical postseason matchups with his four- and 14-yard rushing and receiving touchdowns, respectively, in the second quarter. Bernard is unlikely to see similar volume on a short week when the Bengals face the Texans in a Week 16 matchup on Sunday, but the matchup in that contest will certainly be a premium one.
Bernard rushed the ball three times for eight yards in Week 14 against the Cowboys. He added three receptions for 15 yards.
Analysis: Bernard began the game as the Bengals' lead back, but fumbled on his first carry of the game. He was benched as a result and didn't log another target or reception until the third quarter. Bernard managed to turn things around a bit from there, logging receptions of nine and four yards. Assuming Joe Mixon (foot) is unable to return for the team's Week 15 matchup against the Steelers, Bernard should return to the lead back role. However, he has failed top 35 yards on the ground in each of his last five contests.
Bernard rushed 12 times for 30 yards and secured both targets for minus-1 yards in the Bengals' 19-7 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday.
Analysis: Bernard logged another start for Joe Mixon (IR-foot) and once again struggled to find consistent running room. The veteran continues to be miscast in a lead-back role, having gained 37 yards or fewer on the ground in six of the seven games Mixon has missed. However, there's reportedly a solid chance Mixon is back for a favorable Week 14 matchup against the Cowboys, a development that would relegate Bernard back to the complementary role he's much better suited for.
Bernard carried eight times for 32 yards and caught two of three targets for 17 additional yards during Sunday's 19-17 loss to the Giants.
Analysis: Bernard's average of 4.0 yards per carry looks respectable at first sight, but nearly half his production came on one carry as he was bottled up on most of his attempts. He received a few looks in the passing game as well but did little outside his long reception of 16 yards. Bernard, who has struggled to the tune of 50.3 scrimmage yards per game despite averaging 11.6 touches over the last three, will hope to get back on track next Sunday against a Dolphins defense that has been easier to beat on the ground this season.
Bernard (concussion) is active Week 12 against the Giants, Tyler Dragon of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Analysis: Bernard worked his way back on the practice field this week and was fully expected to play despite spending some time in concussion protocol. He's once again in line to lead the Cincinnati backfield while Joe Mixon (knee) remains on IR, but the circumstances are a bit different this time around, as Brandon Allen is projected to be under center. Regardless of who takes the quarterback snaps, Bernard will be going up against a Giants defense that is giving up the eighth-most fantasy points per game in PPR formats.
Bernard (concussion) is expected to play Sunday against the Giants, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Confirmation on that front will arrive when the Bengals' inactives are posted prior to Sunday's 1:00 ET kickoff. Assuming that's the case, with Joe Mixon (foot) still on IR, Bernard is in line to remain the team's lead back in Week 12, with Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams also on hand.
Bernard (concussion) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game versus the Giants, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Bernard progressed from no activity at Wednesday's practice to full participation Friday, per Baby. Having said that, the fact Bernard is listed as questionable indicates he has yet to emerge from the concussion protocol. He'll seek complete the five-phase process in time for Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff. If Bernard doesn't, though, the Bengals backfield will be helmed by some combination of Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams.
Bernard (concussion) was present for practice Friday, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: After not practicing Wednesday, Bernard moved to limited participation at Thursday's practice. It remains to be seen if he'll be full-go Friday, but the running back does appear to be trending in the right direction in terms of his availability for Sunday's game against the Giants.
Bernard (concussion) was limited at Thursday's practice, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
Analysis: Bernard made some appreciable progress through the concussion protocol by getting back on the practice field Thursday, one day removed from sitting out entirely. He has one more session to improve his prospects before the Bengals give Bernard a designation for Sunday's game versus the Giants. Aside from Bernard, Cincinnati has two other running backs (Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams) on the active roster.
Bernard (concussion) sat out Wednesday's practice, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: With Joe Mixon (foot) still on IR, Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams, to a lesser degree, would be in line for added Week 12 backfield work if Bernard isn't cleared for Sunday's game against the Giants.
Bernard rushed nine times for 18 yards and caught four of five targets for 37 yards in Sunday's 20-9 loss to Washington.
Analysis: Bernard had been performing admirably as the fill-in starter for Joe Mixon (foot), but Joe Burrow carried the offense on his shoulders with 195 first-half passing yards and the entire Bengals offense stalled out in the second half after Burrow was carted off with a season-ending knee injury. Between Cincinnati's porous offensive line and the lack of a passing threat with Ryan Finley under center as opposed to Burrow, finding running room won't be easy for Bernard moving forward. Bernard should remain the lead back in Week 12 against the Giants with Mixon on IR.
Bernard is expected to serve as the Bengals' lead back for at least the team's next three games after Joe Mixon (foot) was placed on injured reserve Saturday, James Rapien of SI.com reports.
Analysis: Bernard had already been filling in for Mixon in the Bengals' previous three games, playing no fewer than 64 percent of the offensive snaps in any of those contests while scoring three touchdowns and averaging 73.6 yards from scrimmage and 16 touches per contest over that stretch. Samaje Perine looms as a potential threat for work in short-yardage situations, but Bernard's standing as the team's clear top pass-catching option out of the backfield should allow him to hold down something resembling a three-down role while Mixon is out. Mixon is tentatively targeting a return from IR when first eligible Week 14, but he's been slower to recover from his right foot injury than expected since it first surfaced Oct. 18.
Bernard is in line to serve as the Bengals' lead back Sunday at Washington after head coach Zac Taylor confirmed Joe Mixon (foot) would be out for a fourth straight game, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Bernard had already been starting in Mixon's stead in each of the previous three games, playing no fewer than 64 percent of the offensive snaps in any of those contests while averaging 73.6 scrimmage yards, four receptions and one touchdown over that stretch. Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams should be active as Bernard's backups Week 11, but neither player is expected to dramatically cut into the 29-year-old's playing time or usage.
Bernard rushed the ball eight times for 30 yards in Week 10 against the Steelers. He added four receptions for 17 yards.
Analysis: Bernard struggled to get into any rhythm as he got only four touches in the first quarter. The Steelers held a two possession for much of the remainder of the game, limiting most of Bernard's impact to the passing game. Even there, however, Bernard was held in check as he averaged only 2.4 yards per target. Joe Mixon (foot) did not practice at all leading up to Week 10, meaning Bernard could have another chance to start in Week 11 against Washington.
Bernard is likely to retain the starting running back role Sunday against the Steelers, as Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports that Joe Mixon (foot) is listed as doubtful for the game.
Analysis: Bernard has made the most of his starting role over the past two games, scoring three touchdowns in Mixon's absence. He should remain heavily involved as both a rusher and a receiver out of the backfield, and Bernard's pass-catching ability out of the backfield will be especially valuable if the Bengals fall behind the undefeated Steelers as expected and are forced to pass to catch up.
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