The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running-back room will look a bit different on Sunday. After initially being listed as doubtful for the team's Week 12 game against the Cleveland Browns, Leonard Fournette was ruled out by the team on Saturday. Additionally, the team activated Giovani Bernard from injured reserve.
Fournette suffered a hip injury during the team's Week 10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Germany. For the first time this season, Fournette did not start that game, as he worked behind rookie Rachaad White. Fournette did out-touch White in the first half of the game, but White played more snaps. Fournette went out in the third quarter, and White finished the game with 22 carries for 105 yards.
Fournette was limited in practices all this week, but coach Todd Bowles said the running back was still dealing with pain. The team left the door open for him to play throughout the week before closing it on Saturday afternoon. In his absence, White should be expected to lead the backfield, though both Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn could play roles as well.
Bernard has been out since suffering an ankle injury back in Week 2. He did not touch the ball in either of the first two games, playing only on special teams. Last season, he totaled eight carries for 58 yards and 23 catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns while mostly working behind Fournette and Ronald Jones.
The 10-year veteran has been a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield throughout his career, but it wouldn't be surprising if the Bucs still wanted White to fill that role on Sunday, given that they have been looking to get him more work of late anyway.