It's a long shot but it doesn't downplay his significance.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard will find out Saturday night if he'll win the Associated Press Rookie of the Year award when the NFL salutes their best players at the annual NFL Honors Awards show at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Bernard is one of several nominations for NFL rookie of the year, which includes Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, Rams running back Zac Stacy, Packers running back Eddie Lacy, Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso.
"It might as well be me," Bernard said via Bengals.com. "They're all great players. I think we all had pretty good years. It's just nice to see guys coming out of college and having such an impact right away."
Bernard generated 1,209 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns; he ranked third in yards from scrimmage. Compared to the league's other rookies, he wasn't particularly dominant with one trade. Eddie Lacy led all rookies with 1,178 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns scored -- Bernard ranked fifth with 695 yards rushing. Keenan Allen led all rookies with 71 receptions, 1,046 yards receiving and eight touchdowns -- Bernard ranked second with 56 grabs and ninth with 514 yards receiving.
Bernard was a fantastic acquisition for what Cincinnati needed. Based on former running backs coach Hue Jackson being promoted as the team's offensive coordinator, figure that their second-year back will see a significantly higher role next season. And that only makes Cincinnati better.