By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT – Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush, who has missed five of the last seven games with an ankle injury, said he will play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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He said the same before the Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears but ended up sitting out.

“We decided last minute to just take this last week off, and [it] gave us 10 days to heal and get ready for this next game,” Bush told Stoney, Bill and Sara of 97.1 The Ticket. “I’ll definitely be out there.”

Bush said he stayed in Detroit after the Lions played on Thanksgiving Day and did therapy to get ready for the next week.

“I was here all day every day, just doing everything I could to make sure I’m back on the field, back ready for practice this week, and that there will be absolutely no if, ands or buts this week,” Bush said. “I’ll be playing on Sunday.”

Wednesday’s practice report listed Bush as a full participant.

With Bush injured so much this season, the Lions have relied heavily on Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, and the run game ranks near the bottom of the league. Three-time Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice is available since the Baltimore Ravens released him after a video went public of Rice punching the woman who is now his wife. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, however, said Detroit has not considered pursuing Rice.

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Caldwell did say he believes in second chances, and so did center Dominic Raiola and safety James Ihedigbo.

Bush expressed a similar view.

“I would welcome anybody,” Bush said. “Anybody that coaches or the team think that can help us, I would welcome in here. Obviously a tough situation with Ray Rice and his fiancée and everything that’s happened from that, but as a player, and being a fan of his work, what he’s done on the football field, I would definitely welcome him.”

Many have criticized the way NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has handled Rice’s situation, first suspending him only two games and then upping his punishment dramatically to an indefinite suspension only after the video of the punch went public.

Bush, however, does not fault Goodell as strongly as many others.

“He has a tough job,” Bush said. “To have to police the whole NFL, that’s a tough job to do. There’s a lot of pressure that comes along with it because on one side he has the owners, who pay him and who he has to answer to, and then he has the players as well, so it’s kind of like you’re trying to find a happy medium, and I’m sure it’s not an easy job. I don’t envy his position because it is so tough, and you have situations like this that come up, with the Ray Rice, and it’s a first-time thing. It’s not the first time it’s happening but I guess the media coverage it attracted, everything that came along with that, that was kind of a first-time deal for the NFL dealing with that, and then other cases, other people. Obviously we have Adrian Peterson and other stuff like that, so it’s tough. Obviously you try to do the best to get it right.

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“He’s not perfect,” Bush added. “He’s going to make mistakes. I don’t hate him or think he’s a bad guy for not getting it right, but I think that – it’s tough, his job. Like I said, I don’t envy him right now.”