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Giovani Bernard out 2 to 4 weeks with MCL sprain

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The Cincinnati Bengals are playing musical chairs in the training room at the running back position.

Joe Mixon returns to the lineup after missing two games with a knee injury, but the Bengals will now be without Mixon's primary backup.

Giovani Bernard is out two to four weeks with an MCL sprain, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, via a source informed of the situation.

Bernard's absence offers a blow to a Bengals' ground game seeking improvement from their current ranking of 22nd in the league.

While Mixon is the more explosive of the two rushers, Bernard proved effective as a replacement, totaling 182 yards (130 rushing) and three touchdowns in Weeks 3-4, averaging 4.8 yards per carry over that span.

The Bengals have a Week 9 bye, and given Bernard's timetable, the backfield might need to wait until Week 10 to be at full strength if Bernard requires the full four weeks to recover.

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