DETROIT - Running back Reggie Bush tweeted Monday morning with four thumbs-up icons. There wasn't a football fan in Michigan that didn't know what that meant.
Bush got positive news from the MRI on his left knee that was injured in the second quarter of the Detroit Lions' 25-21 loss at Arizona on Sunday. There was no structural damage and Bush might play this week in Washington.
"The tests today were encouraging," coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's going to be sore, but he doesn't have anything that's long-term."
Bush was injured with 5:59 left in the second quarter after he was hit at the knees by the helmet of Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson. He walked off the field under his own power and was attended to by the doctors and training staff. He played one more snap in the first half and started the second half. But after fumbling on that play, he never returned.
"He was cleared to come back in but he didn't feel like he could explode off the leg," Schwartz said. "He was testing it on the sideline to see if he would be able to go. We were trying to get him back in the game. At that point, after the fumble, it just didn't make any sense for him to get back out there."
Bush was optimistic immediately after the game that the knee wasn't seriously injured.
"I'm not so concerned," he said. "We'll see how it goes and take it one day at a time. But I am not so concerned. I think I will be all right."
The Lions need him to be all right. The offense, predictably, took a dive after he left the game. The Lions had 232 yards and two Calvin Johnson touchdowns in the first half. With the Cardinals paying close attention to Bush, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 210 yards, 96 of them to Johnson.
When Bush was out, the Cardinals reverted to a two-deep zone, limited Johnson and shut the Lions down. They managed just 90 yards and no points from the offense in the second half
"There's a reason we went and got him and that's because that guy is very important in our offense," Schwartz said. "I think there are a lot of teams that if they lost that guy they would say they struggled to move the ball."
He pointed out New England's struggles once receiver Danny Amendola went out of the game.
"I don't think we're any different than the majority of other teams in the league," he said. "If you take one of those pieces away, it makes it more difficult to operate. Again, that's not an excuse. Our job is to find a way to get that to work."
The Lions also lost receiver Patrick Edwards (ankle) in the game and only used the two-tight end package for six plays.
"Our offense was moving very well in the first half," Schwartz said. "We were converting third downs; converting about 50 percent of our third downs in the first half. In the second half, I don't think we converted one. Obviously Reggie meant a lot.
"Calvin was making a lot more plays in the first half because of the dynamic with Reggie. When he went out of the game, we weren't really able to maintain that. I can't remember what Matt's completion percentage was in the first half (16-for-20), but it was significantly higher in the first half than it was in the second half (8-for-16). If we're going to be without (Bush), we need to find other ways to move the ball and other ways to score."
All Schwartz would say was that Bush's injury wasn't long-term.
"I didn't necessary classify it as short-term," he said. "It's just not long-term. By default I guess that's short term. I guess it could be medium-term. It's too hard to speculate on injuries. That's why I usually don't because I don't like putting any kind of tag on things since you never know how people are going to react to anything."
The Lions will return to the practice field on Tuesday, though that will be a light day and Bush more than likely will continue taking treatment. Wednesday will be the next full practice.
--DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) was held out of the game Sunday. He didn't practice all week but the team was hopeful he could get ready by game time. Coach Jim Schwartz said Fairley would be evaluated daily and he wasn't sure he will be able to practice Tuesday.
--WR Patrick Edwards injured his left ankle on the first series of the game. He got it taped and tried to play through it but was ineffective and came out of the game for good in the second quarter. He was scheduled for an MRI and other tests Monday.
--RT Jason Fox (groin) missed his second straight game. Corey Hilliard started in his place. There is no timetable on Fox's return.
--S Don Carey (hamstring) didn't play Sunday but he could return to practice this week.
--WR Ryan Broyles (knee) continues to work his way through the final stages of his rehab from ACL surgery. He has been practicing and Schwartz said he was "close" to being ready to play.