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Giovani Bernard is the last veteran running back

standing for the Cincinnati Bengals Authentic Trent Brown Jersey , and even he was limited in practice on Wednesday.The Bengals (2-0) head to Carolina (1-1) with Bernard as their only experienced back who knows their system. No. 3 back Tra Carson was waived Wednesday after suffering a hamstring injury in practice.The Bengals signed free agent running back Thomas Rawls, who was released by the Jets at the end of training camp.The running game has shown significant improvement over last year, helping the Bengals get off to their fast start. The challenge is to keep it going with only one proven option to carry the ball."I feel like people are freaking out but my goodness, it's football," Bernard said Wednesday before his limited practice. "Guys are going to go down and the next man has to step up and be prepared."Joe Mixon hurt his right knee during a 34-23 win over Baltimore on Thursday night. He had a surgical procedure over the weekend to remove a piece of torn cartilage. He walked without a limp or a brace Wednesday, saying the knee felt good. He'll be sidelined for a few games as the knee recovers."I'm not sure of the timetable and however the recovery process is going to be or whatever they are going to let me do," Mixon said.Mixon's injury opened the way for Carson to move into a bigger role behind Bernard, but he got hurt during practice on Monday.The Bengals decided they needed another healthy runner and signed Rawls, who played for Seattle from 2015-17, starting 17 games.Rawls did his best in his rookie season, carrying 147 times for 830 yards and a 5.6-yard average. His production dropped each of the next two seasons, and he was released after carrying 58 times for 157 yards in 2017.The Bengals also have rookie Mark Walton, a fourth-round pick in 2018. Walton had only 21 yards on 22 carries in the preseason."I was hesitating, second-guessing myself," Walton said. "I had a lot of cutbacks."Provided he's healthy, Bernard will get the ball a lot at Carolina, moving into a role that he's filled on occasion during his five-year career. He's been used more as a complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jeremy Hill and Mixon over the years, pressed into a featured role when the starter was injured."He may be 5-foot-8 , 200 (pounds), but he's about 6-foot-4, 250 in heart," running backs coach Kyle Caskey said. "So he's one of those guys who's going to be more productive and explosive than you think he's going to be with his size."Bernard has carried the ball 20 or more times in three games during his career, including a 23-carry, 116-yard performance during a 26-17 win over Detroit on Dec. 24.Bernard's biggest contribution to the offense has been as a receiver. He's caught at least five passes in a game 23 times, with nine as his career high. He has two 100-yard receiving games."He does the same things I do," Mixon said. "I have complete faith in Gio and however they are going to use him. I'm not worried about any downfall in the running game and passing game. He's done it for years."PRICE IN THE BOOTRookie center Billy Price was walking with a boot on his injured right foot Wednesday. He sprained the foot when it was stepped on during the win over the Ravens. Doctors concluded on Wednesday that the injury won't need surgery.He'll wear the boot continuously for two weeks and get treatment."We'll reevaluate in two weeks and see where we're at," Price said.ALSO SIDELINEDDefensive end Michael Johnson hurt his left knee early in the game against the Ravens and was limited in practice on Wednesday. Linebacker Preston Brown missed the Ravens game with a sprained right ankle and also had a limited workout.Coping With Loss: Jacksonville Jaguars Edition It would seem that I write one of these every single September.The Patriots lost their first game, which means you fall into one of two categories: you’re either already over it and looking forward to seeing what Josh Gordon will do catching passes from Tom Brady, or you’re one of those sky is falling folks who isn’t happy with New England boasting a Top 10 defense at the end of the season because they’re using September to test different personnel groupings and find out which combination of players works best. But no matter where you fall on the spectrum, nobody likes to lose, so here are five positives we can take away from Sunday’s Jags game.It’s Week 2. For some teams, Week 2 matchups are important. The results are worth celebrating, and a win instills all kinds of confidence. I mean that in all sincerity, as every team in the NFL is at a different point in the developmental process. But the Patriots are not that team. The month of September is more or less an extended preseason for New England, and this game isn’t likely to matter at the end of the season unless the Pats and Jags manage to finish with identical records. And I just don’t see that happening, to be honest. I said the same thing when the Chiefs beat the Patriots in Week 1 of last year, and New England ended that season with the Number One seed.No Marcus Cannon. The Patriots also lost Flowers and Chung to concussions Womens Eric Rowe Jersey , which meant that three key pieces of the team that the Patriots would need to beat the Jaguars were out. The early pressure that Brady felt, his inability to get into any kind of rhythm, his inaccuracy, a lot of that stemmed from the pressure that the Jaguars were able to get when the game first got going, and LaAdrian Waddle got tossed around for much of the game. I don’t want to say that getting Cannon back in the lineup is an instant fix, but it’s definitely going to help. Expected offensive rust. This is more or less exactly what I expected from the Patriots offensively, especially early in the year. We saw it against the Texans; tentativeness, difficulty by the receivers getting separation, and some miscommunication. But that’s OK, because the Patriots will be able to figure this out and come back next week with the necessary adjustments. know. There’s that whole Josh Gordon guy. He’s pretty okay, I guess.Defense. There isn’t another defense like Jacksonville’s. This was the best defense the Patriots will see this year. The blueprint for beating the Patriots hasn’t really changed in a decade plus; the reality is that there just aren’t that many teams who can do it defensively while also putting a solid game together on offense. Going up against that defense, on the road, in the heat...I’m OK with it. And as a defensive guy, I really enjoyed watching what the Jags could do to an offense still trying to find it’s feet.We’ll see them again. The AFC South is going to be an incredibly interesting division to watch. While it’s still way to early to make any real judgments, it seems that the Jaguars are the favorites to win that division – which means the Patriots will see them again in the postseason. And New England usually does pretty well in rematches. When the game really matters, I’m confident that the result will be different, regardless of where it’s played.

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