Giovani Bernard OUT Tonight: Huge for Browns
The Cleveland Browns game with the Cincinnati Bengals promises to be a tough one. Both teams are struggling with injuries but the Breaking News that Giovani Bernard will be out tonight is huge for the Browns:
Bernard is the type of small, fast back that has given the Browns defense trouble. Denard Robinson was a revelation for the Jaguars and Bobby Rainey was tough last week for the Bucs, until they forgot to use him in the second half.
Bernard is considered much more talented than those two. He leads the Bengals in carries, rushing yards and is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns. He has also caught 22 passes, good for third on the team, for another 179 yards.
His presence is felt in both the run and pass games. He hides behind his blockers then makes a quick cut for a big gain for the Bengals rushing attack. He is often targeted in the passing game on screens and swing passes as well. Merely being on the field tends to draw attention from the opposing defenses, much like Darren Sproles.
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With the second year man out, Jeremy Hill, a rookie, will take over the primary duties. Hill is second on the team in most running back categories but is a far different type of back. He is more of a bruiser. He is easier to catch just not as easy to tackle once hit. The Browns will have to wrap him up but are likely happier facing just one of the two backs.
Injuries to Andre Smith and Jermaine Gresham are big but it could be Bernard’s missing that could play the biggest, even though he is the smallest in stature.
The Browns have their own injuries to worry about but have to be happy to know at least one weapon for Andy Dalton will be gone. They have to capitalize.
How big do you think the Giovani Bernard injury is?