By: Shelby Dermer
(*Last updated 11:03 pm ET)
Cincinnati Bengals‘ duel-threat running back Giovanni Bernard will be sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during a 16-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
Bernard ran for 21 yards on seven attempts and added five catches for 40 yards in the loss to Buffalo, with four of his receptions coming on Cincinnati’s final drive. One can speculate the final drive is when Bernard sustained the injury, because no signs pointed to the fourth-year running back hurting anytime earlier in the game.
Bernard was well on his way to a fourth consecutive season with 1,000-plus all-purpose yards. Through 10 games, he was averaging just under four yards per carry and caught 34 passes for 296 yards and found the end zone a total of three times.
Bernard joined the Bengals in 2013, when he won the hearts of Who Dey Nation by driving his girlfriend’s Mom’s minivan to his rookie training camp, as captured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Last season, Bernard ran for a career-high 730 yards, helping lead Cincinnati to a 12-4 division-winning campaign.
Bernard suffered the same injury to his other knee in 2010 that caused him to miss his entire freshman season at North Carolina. He bounced back from the early setback, though, running for 2,481 yards and 25 touchdowns over the next two seasons with the Tar Heels.
On Cincinnati’s first drive of the game, five-time Pro Bowler AJ Green went down with a hamstring injury and was carted off. The injury to Green appears to be lengthy, and all signs point to him joining Bernard on the IR.
At 3-6-1 — and without two of their biggest play makers on offense — the Bengals are still just one game behind Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the loss column, but have to travel to M&T Bank Stadium to play the first-place Ravens next Sunday.