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Bears' Martellus Bennett limited in Thursday's practice

The "Battle of Ohio" will unfold on NFL Network without the services of Giovani Bernard.

The second-year running back is offically inactive for Thursday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns. Bernard was held out of practice all week due to hip and shoulder injuries and missed Sunday's win over the Jaguars.

His absence means that rookie Jeremy Hill will carry the load for a second straight week after piling up 154 yards and two touchdowns off 24 carries against Jacksonville.

Losing Bernard strips the Bengals of a dangerous weapon in space, but as we noted on NFL NOW, Hill is more than capable of operating as a featured back in Hue Jackson's offense. 

Here are the other injuries we're monitoring on this fine fall Thursday:

  1. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot) had season-ending surgery, the Baltimore Ravens announced.

Owen Daniels, Daryl Smith and Steve Smith did not practice for the team in what appears to be a day off for veterans, per The Baltimore Sun

  1. Sammy Watkins was a non-participant at Bills practice. The rookie injured his groin in Wednesday's practice. However, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Month will reportedly play Sunday against the Chiefs.

Fred Jackson, on the other hand, practiced for the second straight day as a limited participant. Coach Doug Marrone said that he was still unsure of Jackson's status and that the team will monitor the running back.

  1. Tony Romo returned to Cowboys practice on a limited basis as the team ramps up for Sunday's matchup with the Jaguars in London. It was the quarterback's first practice since injuring his back in Week 8. 
  1. The Giants practiced without cornerback Zack Bowman on Thursday. Bowman was sent to a local hospital with abdominal pain, per the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, Rashad Jennings (knee) was a limited participant. When asked if there is a possibility he will play this weekend, Jennings responded: "There's always a chance."
  1. LeSean McCoy was back at practice for the Eagles, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. The running back missed Wednesday's practice with an illness. Also for the Eagles: Nate Allen said he was a full-go in practice for the past two days. He feels 100 percent and is ready to go for Monday night's game against the Panthers, per CSN Philly.
  1. Lamar Miller was a limited participant for the Dolphins. Barring any unforeseen setback, the running back is expected to play Sunday, per The Miami Herald.
  1. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said that linebacker Kyle Van Noywill play this week and should see snaps on special teams and defense. Van Noy, who underwent sports hernia surgery in August, has not seen an NFL snap yet, per the Detroit Free Press

A trio of tight ends -- Joseph Fauria (ankle), Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Brandon Pettigrew (foot) -- along with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (toe) were limited in practice.

  1. Sam Shields practiced for the second straight day with the Packers. The cornerback missed the past two games with a knee injury. T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton were the only Packers not practicing.
  1. Darrin Walls missed the Jets' Thursday practice with a calf issue, coach Rex Ryan said. Jeremy Kerley was also out, though for a non-injury/personal reason.
  1. Julio Jones on Thursday said that he is "100 percent" coming off his ankle injury, per ESPN.
  1. Doug Martin, Akeem Spence, Alterraun Verner and Anthony Collins all did not practice with the BuccaneersVincent Jackson, however, returned to practice as a limited participant.
  1. Tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs) practiced on a limited basis for the Bears on Thursday.
  1. The Rams' Rodney McLeod was back at practice Thursday. The third-year safety sat out Wednesday's practice with a knee injury.
  1. Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (foot) was limited at practice for the second day in a row. Ellington has been playing with a partially-torn tendon all year.
  1. Mark Ingram (shoulder), Jonathan Goodwin (knee/ankle) and Kenny Stills (thigh) were limited participants for the SaintsJimmy Graham (shoulder) was a full-go.
  1. Niners receiver Brandon Lloyd (hamstring) was limited in practice, as was Frank Gore (hip).
  1. The Browns announced that cornerback Justin Gilbert injured his heel during Cleveland's Thursday night game against the Bengals. Defensive lineman Phillip Taylor also went down Thursday night with a knee injury. Both players didn't return to the game. 
  1. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins exited Cincinnati's tilt against the Browns after injuring his surgically repaired knee, according to CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson, and he did not return.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews Browns-Bengals and returns the game "Win Gregg's Toaster." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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