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Giovani Bernard in doubt to play vs. Jaguars; Bengals prepping Cedric Peerman

Jeremy Hill would be in line to make his first NFL start vs. the Jaguars if Giovani Bernard can't go for the Bengals.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are now unsure if they will have running back Giovani Bernard for their Week 9 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the Bengals are already getting third-string back Cedric Peerman ready as a complementary back to Jeremy Hill, who would be in line to make his first NFL start vs. the Jags if Gio can't go.

Richard Skinner of also believes Bernard could be held out this week:

Bernard, who injured his hip during Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens, is in doubt for Sunday's game against the Jaguars while also dealing with a shoulder injury that's lingered since a Week 7 tie with the Carolina Panthers. He couldn't finish last week's game and did not practice on Wednesday.

Not having Bernard would be a huge loss for this offense. He leads the team with 625 all-purpose yards (449 rushing and 179 receiving). Gio also leads the team in touchdowns (5) and firsts downs (26).

If he's out, Hill will get a heavier workload than he's had in any game to date. Hill is second on the team in rushing (195) and first downs (16) and is tied for second with three scores.

His backup would be Peerman, a special-teams ace who has just five carries for 15 yards this season to go with one catch for five yards.