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Jags' Toby Gerhart returns; Lions' Ziggy Ansah off PUP

The Jacksonville Jaguars have their much-ballyhooed warhorse back.

Running back Toby Gerhart returned to practice on Tuesday after missing more than a week of work with a hip flexor issue, per John Oehser of the team's official website.

Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch reiterated Tuesday that Gerhart remains the "lead dog" in a ground game that also features Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson battling for carries.

Gerhart is a "Making the Leap" entry and a candidate to lead the conference in carries, but questions loom about the runner's ability to serve as Jacksonville's season-long bell cow after just 86 attempts over the past two years.

The immense workload he shouldered at Stanford has us convinced he can grow into a foundation-back role for a team that figures to lean heavily on the rush. Barring a setback, Gerhart's a good bet to suit up for Thursday's preseason meeting with the Chicago Bears.

Here's the rest of Tuesday's injury roundup:

1. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Broncos starting weakside linebacker Danny Trevathan underwent an MRI after suffering a left knee injury at practice. The team expects Trevathan back in six to eight weeks after his diagnosis of a left medial tibial impaction fracture.

"They told me that my ACL and MCL are fine, but that I have a fracture in my knee," Trevathan told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "The doctor told me I was going to be out four to eight weeks, but I told him four to six. I'm not tripping. I will bounce back. I'm a soldier."

2. Detroit Lions defense end Ezekiel Ansah has been activated from the team's physically unable to perform list, according to the team's website. Having Ziggy off PUP is music to new coach Jim Caldwell's ears.

3. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan expects to have running back Chris Ivory back in action Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Ivory suffered a rib cartilage injury in Gang Green's preseason win over the Colts and hasn't practiced fully since.

4. Honey Badger update: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said that safety Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu are "pretty close" to returning to the field and could suit up as early as next week, per ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss. Currently stashed away on the team's preseason PUP list, Mathieu said on Aug. 7 that he hoped to pactice in "the next two to three weeks."

5. After missing time with a hamstring injury, wide receiver Jordy Nelson returned to the practice field on Tuesday, per ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.

6. Chiefs safety Eric Berry left practice with tendinitis in his injured heel. "He works a few days and then it bothers him and it inflames a little bit. Then we back off," coach Andy Reid told reporters, per ESPN.com's Adam Teicher. Berry didn't suit up for last week's tilt against the Bengals, leaving his current on-and-off status to remind The Kansas City Star's Randy Covitz of "Brandon Flowers' lingering heel injury in 2012."


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7. With Bengals quarterback Jason Campbell nursing a shoulder injury, Tyler Wilson took snaps during practice and told reporters that he expects to play Saturday against the New York Jets, per Jay Morrison of Cox Media Group.

8. Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer recently said that he could start the season on the PUP list, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that such a fate might be avoided. "He's getting there at a faster pace than we thought," Jones said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "... It's looking like we'll keep him on the roster."

9. Arian Foster and Andre Johnson remain ghosts at Texans practice, but Houston was happy to welcome third-round nose tackle Louis Nix to his first camp practice after offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. "It's a matter of getting him back in football shape, getting him back in pads and not throwing him right back in there for 50 reps in a practice," coach Bill O'Brien said, per the Houston Chronicle. "We'll just continue to work him back."

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