North Carolina running-back Gio Bernard went through a full practice today for the Tar-Heels with a brace on his knee. Bernard, a redshirt sophomore left Carolina’s season opener against Elon in the second quarter due to what was called a minor knee injury.
In just a quarter and a half, Bernard scored the first three touchdowns of the game – one on a 59-yard run, one on a 6-yard reception and the other on a 70-yard punt return. The three touchdowns matched his career high, and the 59-yard scoring run was the second-longest of his career. In 2011, as a redshirt freshman, Bernard rushed for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns. Many preseason media publications tabbed him as the top running back in the ACC.
Bernard’s knee injury wasn’t original thought to be very serious, but he did in fact miss UNC’s game against Wake Forest last week. Bernard is expected to make his return on Saturday when the Tar-Heels travel to Louisville. UNC head coach Larry Fedora told the media that Bernard has been participating in the same drills as everyone else in practice this week.