Bengals trying to manage Giovani Bernard’s workload while thinking big picture

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Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball near the goal line against the Green Bay Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping the Week 1 opener against the Chicago Bears, a game which saw rookie running back Giovani Bernard touch the ball just five times, the Bengals have made a concerted effort to put the ball in his hands more in the past two games, going from nine touches in the Week 2 win over Pittsburgh, to 14 in Sunday’s win over Green Bay.

With the offense clearly being more efficient with Gio in the game, it’s easy to yell and scream for him to get more touches going forward, but the Bengals can’t be too greedy with their newfound offensive weapon.

At 5’9″, 205 lbs, Bernard doesn’t exactly have the kind of body capable of lasting an entire season while getting 15-25 touches a game. A lighter workload will keep him fresher and healthier for the stretch-run at the end of the year that will see the Bengals face the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh on the road, and then home game against the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. The finale vs Baltimore is already shaping-up to be a game that could decide the winner of the AFC North, and that would be a game you’d want to have a fresh and healthy Bernard to get 20-30 touches.