CINCINNATI -- Johnny Manziel won't be the only rookie replacing a healthy starter in Cleveland on Sunday.
"I've just got to go with that and see where it goes from there," said Bernard, a 2013 Bengals second-round pick.
Aside from the three games Bernard missed earlier this season due to multiple injuries, the Bengals all season have incorporated a tandem approach at running back. Hill and Bernard have typically alternated series. When on the field, there have been little differences in their rushing styles, despite having differing builds. While much smaller and a less physical runner than Hill, Bernard still has been giving carries into the line's interior.
Since Bernard returned from his three-game absence, his snap counts the past three weeks have been about equal to Hill's. Bernard was part of 35 snaps last Sunday against Pittsburgh, compared to the 33 Hill played.
The change doesn't come as much of a surprise after offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he favored a one-back system and hinted that the two-back setup wasn't working as well as he hoped.
"I'm used to having one guy kind of dominate some carries because, in order for backs to be really good, they've got to get lathered up to play," Jackson said. "You've got to get a feel for the game."
There was no way the Browns would let Hill's bashing of the Cleveland defense slide. Linebacker Craig Robertson said "of course" he remembers Hill saying the Browns were "probably worse than I thought" despite beating Cincinnati 24-3, holding Andy Dalton to a historically bad 2.0 passer rating and generally stripping all dignity of Bengals players for at least one night.
Hill at the time said "those guys" the Browns were "not that good," did nothing special and sat back in coverage while the Bengals made mistakes. Hill made his own mistake with a fumble on his way to a 55-yard night.
Robertson has no idea why he said that, but he knows those words have circulated in the Browns' locker room this week.
"We'll definitely use those comments as fuel to the fire," Robertson said. "We've got to come out and play a big game against him."
The Browns lead the league with 19 interceptions and forced the Colts into four turnovers last week in a 25-24 loss.
"At the end of the day, we're not really getting the respect that we want," Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. "We just have to keep doing what we're doing every week so that we can earn everybody's respect."
Hill, who has been healthy all season, currently leads the Bengals in rushing with 729 yards compared to Bernard's 557. Hill also has averaged 4.8 yards per carry, while Bernard is averaging 3.9.
"He's playing hard and running hard. As a running back, that's what you have to do," Bernard said.
The second-year player anticipates his role will revert back to what it was last season when veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the bell-cow back. Bernard said he's fine with the coaches' decision.
"At the end of the day, that's all I care about is winning and being on this team," Bernard said.
ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.