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Giovani Bernard, Andre Smith back at Bengals practice; Vontaze Burfict out

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Giovani Bernard has missed three games with a hip and clavicle injury, but the Bengals expect him to play against the Texans.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

As the Bengals hit the field for their first pre-Texans practice on Wednesday, they got two huge boosts to their offense, particularly the ground game. Running back Giovani Bernard and offensive tackle Andre Smith were both back at practice after each missed the Week 11 win over the Saints.

Bernard has missed three games with a hip and clavicle injury, but the expectation has been that the second-year back will be able to play vs. the Texans this week.

As for Smith, he's missed two games with an injured ankle that was originally believed to be minor enough to only cost him Week 10 vs. the Brownsbut after re-injuring it last week, Smith was also held out at New Orleans.

As for those not practicing Wednesday, defensive ends Margus Hunt and Wallace Gilberry, linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Terence Newman were not on the field as the team practiced in UC's practice bubble: