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Giovani Bernard out on Sunday, Dez Bryant warns Cowboys

In other NFL news, the Seahawks learn that tight end Zach Miller will require a second surgery on his ankle.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be without running back Giovani Bernard on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, per Albert Breer.

Bernard hasn't played since injuring his hip against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, sitting each of the last two games. The North Carolina product has 109 carries for 446 yards and five touchdowns in seven games so far this season. A central cog in the Bengals offense, Bernard also has 22 catches.

The good news for the Bengals is that Jeremy Hill is always waiting in the wings as another young, talented running back. Hill has excelled in relief of Bernard and has 209 rushing yards in the two games Bernard has missed. In total, Hill has 86 carries for 404 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

Dez: Don't test my loyalty

The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Dez Bryant continue to use the media to send messages about ongoing contract negotiations between the two sides. Bryant's message to Jerry Jones and company on Wednesday was simple: don't test me. Per the Star-Telegram:

"I just know what I'm going to accept and I know what I'm not going to accept," Bryant said. "You know, it's not about the money. It's not about none of that. I just feel like a little respect should play a factor in that. I love it [here]. I really do. But every day you grow. Let's see what happens. It's all about respect. It's all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don't test my loyalty."

Bryant is currently playing out the final year of his rookie contract. Through 10 games, the dynamic receiver has amassed 56 receptions for 793 receiving yards and eight touchdowns and leads the team in each category. Yet the Cowboys continue to publicly push back with negative quotes about Bryant's immaturity and lifestyle. Nevertheless, a deal should be announced sooner than later.

Zach Miller to IR

The Seattle Seahawks offense will be without tight end Zach Miller for the rest of the season with the news that the veteran is headed to injured reserve.

Since joining Seattle in 2011, tight end Zach Miller has provided reliable all-around play and has been a staple of the Seahawks offense. During the team's title run last season, Miller caught 33 passes for 387 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Unfortunately, injures have prevented the veteran from repeating that performance. Miller underwent ankle surgery in Week 3 with the hope of returning later in the season.

In Miller's place, the Seahawks have used a rotation of Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet. Primarily used as a blocker, Willson has been targeted only 20 times in his eight appearances this season. The same goes for Helfet, who has only seen 15 passes thrown to him this year. To help make up for the production loss, the team added tight end Tony Moeaki last week. Miller is the second Seahawk to land on IR this week, joining defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who tore his hamstring.

Cushing, Clowney back on Sunday

The Houston Texans got some great news for their defense with word that rookie pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney and star linebacker Brian Cushing will both be healthy enough to play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, per John McCain of the Houston Chronicle.

For the last few weeks, the Texans have relied heavily on J.J. Watt and little else. The good news is that Watt has more than held his own with 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and a pick-six. With the addition of Clowney and Cushing, the front seven should become a dominant force against the surprising first-place Browns.

Both linebackers practiced Wednesday and are expected to suit up this weekend. Cushing has proven his worth as a run defender and tackling machine, but the uber-talented Clowney has yet to make a significant impact. Still, the talent is there along with the reputation to force the Browns to pay attention to the number one pick from last year's draft.