Giovani Bernard NFL Stats
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Giovani Bernard NFL Game Log
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- 2018 Offensive Snaps:
- 2018 Special Teams Snaps:
(Compared to other RBs)
Cincinnati Bengals Team Injury Report
Bernard was on pace for his fourth consecutive season with more than 1,000 combined yards, along with a career high in receptions, when he tore his ACL in Week 11's game against the Bills. When healthy, the 5-9, 205-pound back is one of the league's most dangerous runners in the open field, possessing an elite combination of vision, elusiveness and quickness. But after suffering one ACL tear already in college, there's no guarantee Bernard will be able to return to peak form. He was a full go for the start of training camp less than nine months after suffering the injury, but the Bengals added Joe Mixon in the draft to further muddy Bernard's prospects for touches. Even if he does come back 100 percent from his knee injury, he could find himself relegated to a change-of-pace role.
Sometimes less is more, as we saw with Bernard during his third NFL season. Although his rushes dropped to a new personal low, he hiked his YPC up to a personal best, a jump of 0.7 over the previous year. Bernard also nudged his catch rate forward, adding up to a Top 20 RB finish in PPR leagues. Ah, but touchdowns also pay a lot of the fantasy bills, and that’s where Bernard was disappointing — perhaps unlucky — last year. Although his red-zone usage was similar to where it was in 2014, Bernard dropped from seven touchdowns to just two. He was the only back in the league to score just twice on 26 or more red-zone rushing attempts (Bernard collected 32 in all). And it wasn’t like all the totes were from long distances; he had 13 chances inside the 10. It’s not that Bernard is ever likely to lead the league in touchdowns — heck, his running mate, Jeremy Hill, did that last year — but given his expected volume and breakaway ability, you’d expect a modest gain in TDs this time around. There’s nothing particularly thrilling about Bernard entering his fourth campaign, but he’s been a fantasy-useful player his entire career, and he might be entering the boring-but-thrifty veteran portion of the program.
Expected to be Cincinnati's lead back last season, Bernard instead battled shoulder, rib and hip injuries, missing three games and ceding the starting role to rookie Jeremy Hill, who never let it go. That's not an encouraging trend for an undersized player who'd already undergone ACL surgery in college. When healthy, Bernard still showed the incredible quickness, vision, balance and elusiveness that make him a threat to explode for a long gain on every touch. Although he bails out too often in pass protection, his 130 targets through two seasons demonstrate the Bengals' commitment to giving him a prime spot in their passing game to take advantage of his hands and ability to make defenders miss in space. The more physical, bruising Hill is a reliable asset on the ground, and Bernard likely will get fewer carries this season to limit the punishment he takes. That might actually be the best scenario for his career prospects, as he might stay more effective with a reduced workload.
One of the league's most exciting rookies last season, Bernard made an instant impact in the pass game and showed quick cutting ability as well as great burst despite seeing his carries limited by a timeshare with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He'll again have to split off some carries to Green-Ellis and second-round pick Jeremy Hill this year, but appears poised to take over a more featured role in the Bengals' offense.
A second-round selection in 2013, Bernard's final numbers were depressed by a lack of playing time alongside Green-Ellis – and yet he still racked up more than 1,200 total yards from scrimmage. He could have ended up with even more, but did struggle over the season's final three games, carrying 39 times for a total of just 77 yards. But the Law Firm seems in line to be phased out after his third consecutive season of sub-4.0 yards per carry, meaning that Bernard should see his carries jump well over 200 while retaining all his usefulness in the pass game.
Despite being a smaller back at 5-9, 208, Bernard has so far looked terrifically durable, and even though Green-Ellis is a more prototypical short-yardage back, Bernard still saw six goal-line touches last season and should see that role expanded this year. He has all the goods to be a true three-down back, and he could finally see that role materialize this season.
The 37th overall pick – and first RB selected this year – Bernard has extremely quick feet and the vision and burst to break runs outside. Bernard's also a natural receiver out of the backfield and, as such, is likely to see plenty of third-down work. He'll likely begin the year as a change-of-pace runner and complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but has the tools to be a productive three-down back should Green-Ellis miss time.