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Giovani Bernard out 2 to 4 weeks with MCL sprain

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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