2 Minute Drill: Redskins vs. Lions
Through two games the Redskins have given up an alarming 402 rushing yards to their opponents. Based on those stats, the prospect of the Skins defense facing a rejuvenated Reggie Bush seems frightening for Washington fans.
Though if Bush will play in Sunday's game between the 1-1 Lions and the 0-2 Redskins remains a question.
Bush took a helmet directly to his left knee in last Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, and left the game. An MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee, but Bush suffered a number of injuries to the knee during his playing time with the New Orleans Saints.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz earlier in the week called Bush's injury "medium term." While Schwartz might have coined a new NFL medical term, his point was Bush's injury is not as severe as the team first worried, but it still may require some rest for the veteran running back. Bush did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but told reporters he is "optimistic" he will play against the Redskins.
Regardless of Bush's medical situation, the Redskins will plan to face him.
"We always prepare for a guy like that to play because he’s a great playmaker, fantastic athlete," Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday.
Bush creates problems for the defense because of both his ability to run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield. Through two games with the Lions, Bush has 30 rushing attempts for 115 yards to go with seven catches for 145 yards and a touchdown.
"They have a number of different running backs, so I don’t think the game plan will change much from a run standpoint," Haslett said. " I don’t think it will change much from a passing standpoint, but they probably won’t go to that guy as much as they would Reggie.”
Behind Bush stands Joique Bell, a third year player out of Wayne State University. Bell lacks Bush's pedigree, but the runner has emerged as a viable backup in Detroit. In two games playing behind Bush this year, Bell has 56 yards on the ground, scoring two TDs, to go with 10 catches for 108 yards.
Last week, Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy was knocked out of the game early against the Redskins. That hardly slowed the Pack rushing attack though, as backup James Starks rushed for 132 yards, giving Green Bay their first 100-yard rusher in nearly three seasons.
"We haven’t done a very good job in the first two games stopping the run," Haslett said. "The point of emphasis for our football team at practice yesterday and today is to make sure we do a great job in the run game.”
It won't matter if Washington faces Bush or Bell, for the Redskins to get their first win of 2013, the defense must slow down the Lions running attack.