By Ashley Dunkak
Only two games into the season, fans might already be starting to brace themselves for the Detroit Lions to look more like they did in 2012 than they did in 2011.
Running back Reggie Bush played through pain and breathed life into the offense against Minnesota, but against Arizona on Sunday, Bush attempted to do the same, but his left knee took a blow from a defender’s helmet that Bush said later he should not have tried to come back from.
He returned to the game, but he also fumbled, and the Lions lost 25-21 to a team that has not beaten any team other than the Lions since September 2012.
“I was able to go back in the game, but I wasn’t myself,” Bush said afterward to ESPN. “I probably shouldn’t have gone back in. But I went back in and tried to give it a shot. Felt like I could still go, but I wasn’t myself.”
“We’ll see what happens this week,” Bush added. “I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s anything serious.”
With Bush, the Lions’ offense looked impressively competent, in the season opener and in the first half of Sunday’s game. It looked more like it did in 2011, when Detroit used running back Jahvid Best to complement superstar receiver Calvin Johnson.
Without Bush on Sunday, the Lions looked more like the 2012 version of themselves, the group that finished with a dismal 4-12 record.
As important as Bush is to the Lions, head coach Jim Schwartz said there will be plenty of attention on him this week.
“I’m sure we’ll go through every fine-tooth comb on everything,” Schwartz said. “He’s an important player to us. We’ll certainly do every test that we can.”
Bush has a long history of injuries. Last season was the first time he played all 16 games in a season since he was a rookie. In November 2007 he played on a torn PCL for a month before the injury ended his season. Bush played 12 games that year, and he played in just 10 games in 2008. In 2009 Bush participated in 14 games, but in 2010 he suffered a broken leg and made it through just eight games that season. In 2011 he played in 15 games, and last year he played all 16.