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Bengals optimistic Giovani Bernard will practice this week

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The Bengals could have one of the more dynamic one-two punches in their backfield once Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are both getting significant touches.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have been thrilled with the play of Jeremy Hill as the starting running back, but that doesn't mean they're not eagerly awaiting the return of Giovani Bernard. The second-year jitterbug was leading the team in rushing and fourth in receiving yards before a hip and clavicle injury forced him to miss the past three games.

Speaking Monday, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he "thinks" Bernard will resume practicing this week.

"Not sure. We’ll see. I think so, but we’ll see."

Typical Marvin Lewis in being coy about when an injured player could return. Frankly, it wouldn't be surprising either way, to see him active or inactive for Week 12 against the Houston Texans, but there was this bit of encouraging news on Sunday:

The Bengals could have one of the more dynamic one-two punches in their backfield once Hill and Bernard are both both getting significant touches. Bernard was getting the bulk of the touches before going down with injuries, and Hill will probably keep getting 15-20 touches per game even when Gio comes back.

However, Bernard can line up at receiver (see above tweet), and with Cincinnati hurting at that spot, simply lining up Bernard out wide with Hill in the backfield is a realistic option that could open up the offense even more going forward.