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Arian Foster is 'day-to-day,' Mike Mitchell is banned from Twitter, and other NFL news

Elsewhere, Giovani Bernard returns to practice.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans' offense ranks squarely in the middle of the league in terms of both total yards and scoring. Naturally, when a key cog like All-Pro running back Arian Foster misses time because of injury, the unit is going to struggle. Foster hurt his groin during a Week 9 game against the Eagles and hasn't played since. Though rookie Alfred Blue has provided reliable production in Foster's absence, he doesn't tax a defense the way Foster can. The good news for the Texans is they should have him back in uniform soon, as the head coach Bill O'Brien revealed that the star tailback practiced Wednesday.

In several areas, Foster is having his best season as a professional. His 5.1 yards per carry is the highest mark of his career and 0.5 greater than his career average. At the time of his injury, Foster was on pace for 20 total touchdowns, another career best. Though he's unlikely to reach that number now, a healthy Foster still figures to impact the Houston offense, especially with new starter Ryan Mallett slinging passes.

Steelers put a stop to Mike Mitchell's Twitter account

Social media can be a valuable marketing and communications tool when placed in the right hands. Countless companies, comedians, and media members utilize the social media platform to efficiently share information and build their brands. However, Twitter can be a nightmare for those with thin skin, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Mitchell. After the safety attacked fans through his account, head coach Mike Tomlin handed down a social media ban, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Mitchell allegedly contacted several followers via direct message after the Steelers' 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday. Messages were reported to include calling followers "trash," expressing hope that they "die broke," and, even worse, telling one follower "kill yourself." While sports fans can be insensitive to downright offensive on the Internet, when public figures comment back, it can lead to negative attention. Mitchell took the bait here, and now he's paying the price.

Giovani Bernard returns to Bengals practice

For the first eight weeks of the season, Giovani Bernard served as the Cincinnati Bengals starting tailback. An elusive, speedy runner, Bernard compiled huge figures on the ground and in the passing game. Especially after superstar wide receiver A.J. Green went down with a toe injury, Bernard provided the Cincinnati offense field-tilting play that allowed it to stay at or near the top of the AFC North. Unfortunately for the Bengals, he hurt his hip in a game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 and has yet to return. Rookie Jeremy Hill has filled in admirably, but the offense performs at its best with both backs splitting carries. That may soon be the case again, as ESPN's Coley Harvey reports that Bernard returned to practice Wednesday.

Assuming he can play, Bernard's return would provide a needed boost this weekend. The Bengals take on the Texans, a team with a capable run defense headed by Defensive Player of the Year candidate J.J. Watt. Bernard's ability to make big plays on checkdowns should aid Cincinnati's efforts as it tries to stay alive in the race for the division crown.

Jabaal Sheard avoids surgery

The Cleveland Browns were hit with a pair of bad diagnoses when they learned that starting inside linebacker Karlos Dansby would be sidelined for as long as a month with a knee injury, while outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard might miss the entire season with a bone injury in his foot. Apparently the latter injury isn't as bad as initially expected. Sheard received a second opinion on his foot, learning that it will not require surgery.

Because he avoids the knife, Sheard could return in a week or two rather than in 2015. While not a star, the linebacker is an important piece of Mike Pettine's pass rush. On the season, Sheard has two sacks and 24 total pressures as measured by Pro Football Focus. During his absence, the Browns will give additional snaps to linebackers Eric Martin and Keith Pough.

LeGarrette Blount goes unclaimed

When LeGarrette Blount left the field before the conclusion of Monday night's Steelers-Titans game, his team felt compelled to cut the running back loose. Blount had reportedly expressed frustration over his playing time, which in turn led coaches and teammates to sour on his act. A similar story played out in Cleveland, where Ben Tate earned his release after complaining about snap distribution. The Minnesota Vikings ultimately claimed Tate. However, no team stepped up to the plate for Blount, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Because no team claimed Blount, he immediately becomes a free agent. In theory, teams that passed on him in waivers could be interested in signing the running back at the prorated veteran's minimum. Regardless, he still earns the full amount of his 2014 pay from Pittsburgh by virtue of being on the team's roster at the start of the regular season.