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Leonard, Peerman must step up for Bengals with Scott on IR

The SportsXchange

With Bernard Scott on injured reserve after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sunday in Cincinnati's 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Bengals will look to give Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman more opportunities to be the primary backup to BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Leonard has just six carries for 26 yards this season, but he does have three receptions for 32 yards, including a 16-yarder on a screen during the fourth quarter. During his four seasons with the Bengals, Leonard has primarily been a third-down back but has seen some work in base packages this season.

Peerman has been used almost exclusively on special teams, but he has had five carries this season, including a 48-yard run on a fake punt against the Jaguars that is the team's longest carry of the season.

"Leonard's been good. He is a steady guy. And Cedric I think with more opportunities will prove he belongs also," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "He's got great vision; he just has had limited opportunities. It will be good for him to get some more opportunities to see if he can handle it and make some big plays for us."

Green-Ellis is 10th in the AFC in rushing with 300 yards on 91 carries, but he is one of three backs in the conference's top 20 who is averaging 35 yards or less per carry. Green-Ellis had just 14 yards on nine carries against Miami, with five of them being for 1 yard or less. His longest carry of the day went for 5 yards.

On Monday, head coach Marvin Lewis talked about the running game needing to be more complete in terms of finishing off blocks and everyone seeing things the same way.

"It's like a piano. One key this time, another key the next time," Green-Ellis said. "We just have to develop that consistency and just the will and the want to and just want to be great at it."

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