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Bucs RB Gio Bernard suffered a "slight" MCL sprain on his garbage-time TD in Sunday's loss to the Rams, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Bernard is considered "day to day," but his status for this weekend's game vs. the Patriots is "TBD," per Pelissero. We'll keep an eye on Bernard's status this week. His absence would free up passing-down work -- likely for RB Leonard Fournette.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones will start Sunday's game against the Falcons, HC Bruce Arians said Tuesday. It feels like an olive branch after Jones was benched for his 2nd-quarter fumble in the opener. "Starting," of course, just means that Jones will be on the field for the 1st play of the game. It doesn't tell us anything about how big a role he'll play. This still figures to be a 3-man committee, with Jones and Leonard Fournette playing on early downs and Gio Bernard in passing situations.

Bucs RB Gio Bernard (ankle) was a full participant in Monday's practice. So he's good to go for Thursday night's opener vs. the Cowboys. Bernard handled all the 3rd-down work with the 1st-team offense this preseason.

Bucs RB Gio Bernard (ankle) returned to practice on Sunday, according to Pewter Report. It's unclear how much Bernard did, but it clearly gives him a shot to play against the Cowboys on Thursday night. We'll get Tampa's 1st official practice report on Tuesday.

Bucs RB Gio Bernard is dealing with a "mild" high-ankle sprain, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Pelissero adds that Bernard is expected to be ready for the season opener vs. Dallas. But this would need to be an extremely mild high-ankle sprain for that to be the case. We'll keep an eye on Bernard's status. His absence would open up passing game work for RB Leonard Fournette (and maybe a bit for RB Ronald Jones.

Bucs RB Gio Bernard will be a "major part of the offense," HC Bruce Arians said Thursday. Arians went on to say that Bernard has been “more than pretty good” since joining the team. Arians is no stranger to hyperbole, so take this with at least a small grain of salt. But Bernard did match RBs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones with 2 snaps with the 1st-team offense in the preseason opener. Both of Bernard's snaps came on 3rd down. We're expecting him to play a big role on passing downs -- although we'd still be surprised if he took too many carries from Fournette and Jones.

The Athletic's Greg Auman calls Gio Bernard the Bucs' "likely" pass-catching back. That could be a valuable role considering Tampa RBs combined for 119 targets last year. Bernard, though, will need to beat out Leonard Fournette among others for that job. Bernard has caught 30+ passes in all 8 of his NFL seasons, including 47 last year. But he turns 30 in November and settled for a cheap, 1-year deal with the Bucs this offseason after getting cut by the Bengals. He's not guaranteed anything. We'll monitor the battle for the passing-down snaps in this backfield.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill lost 2 fumbles in Sunday's game against the Chargers.  He was benched after the 2nd one in the 3rd quarter.  "We can't have a back fumbling the football," HC Marvin Lewis said. "Jeremy's a talented young player and we've got to keep the football. That wasn't part of his deal last year, and we can't let it creep in."  With Hill on the sideline, RB Gio Bernard ripped off 123 yards on 20 carries.  That has this backfield looking like a pure committee heading into Week 3.

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