By Ashley Dunkak
For the most part, new Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush had a fantastic debut in the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, racking up 191 yards of offense and eliciting chants of “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!” from the crowd at Ford Field.
The only exception might have been a pulled groin and a dislocated thumb.
“I didn’t really feel it in the game when it happened because I was going to catch the ball, it was a third and one, I dropped it, and I was more mad that I dropped it, and when I clapped my hands together because I was frustrated, I looked down and noticed my thumb was facing the wrong direction,” Bush said, pausing for a wry laugh. “And went up to the trainers and they popped it back in. I told them to just tape it up for me. That was the first drive. We had to finish the game. We still had a job to do, still had to work.”
Between 21 carries and four receptions, Bush totaled 25 touches. Since Bush has a history of injuries, some are concerned that he will eventually end up on the sidelines. Head coach Jim Schwartz last week said the team was not planning on limiting Bush’s workload because of the thumb and the groin, and Bush said he did not know whether he would get the football as much in every game as he did in his first.
“I don’t think you can put a number on it because every game is going to be different,” Bush said. “Defenses are going to game plan our offense differently. Until we get in the game, we don’t really know how it’s going to go. I expect this week against Arizona that they’re going to stop the run, they’re going to do their best to stop the run first, so I’m pretty sure we’ll probably see some safeties down in the box a few times, so we have to do our best to take advantage of that when we can.”
While the Lions had a solid opening game, Bush’s alma mater USC did not fare so well. The Trojans lost 10-7 to intended nonconference cupcake Washington State, placing head coach Lane Kiffin squarely on the hot seat.
“That’s not good, especially when you’re playing at home,” Bush said. “I’m sure people are upset, and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
If the Trojans end up being intolerable the rest of the season, too, Bush can always watch soccer. A self-proclaimed big soccer fan, Bush traveled to Europe in the off-season and watched a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Wednesday he took to Twitter to talk about soccer, particularly to express concern about Landon Donovan’s pinkeye.
“I was watching a match last night and it was like, black, it didn’t even look pink,” Bush said. “It was just like black eye. I thought that was pretty cool for him to go out there, still compete, and still show up, score a huge goal for the U.S. to really solidify the game for them. They got a berth to the World Cup. That’s pretty special.”