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Giovani Bernard returns to Week 5 practice in limited fashion due to knee injury

We break down the Monday news that Giovani Bernard could return to practice from a knee injury, and what it means for Week 5.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard (25) head to the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday update: Bernard has gotten back to practice with a pair of limited sessions thus far this week.

Athletic beat writer Greg Auman reported on Monday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard could return to practice this week ahead of their Week 5 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Bernard missed Sunday night’s 19-17 victory at the Patriots with a knee injury.

Bernard’s potential return could provide some slight-relief for a Buccaneers team that has been ravaged by injuries in the early goings of the 2021 season. The veteran free agent pick up has been banged up since the final week of the preseason and only started to make an impact in the Tampa offense in their Week 3 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, he caught nine of 10 targets for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Fantasy football implications

In Bernard’s absence, the Bucs got a lot of usage out of Leonard Fournette on Sunday. Fournette handled most of the third-down responsibilities and was effective as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, hauling in three of five targets for 47 yards. Should Gio be out once again this Sunday, look into Lenny to handle the full load once again.