Everything has been blown up with the Buffalo Bills in the past 24 hours, which has hidden a few other sad things there beneath the surface.
One is that Reggie Bush — once one of the biggest stars in college football, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft and twice a 1,000-yard rusher — is having a historically bad season by running back standards.
Hat tip to ESPN.com’s Jeff Duncan on this one. Bush currently sits at minus-3 rush yards heading into the season finale at the New York Jets and could become the first back since 1955 (per Pro Football Reference) to have 10 or more carries in the season and finish with negative yards.
It has been that kind of season for Bush and the Bills. He has 12 runs on the season and one each in the past three games. Sunday’s run for minus-8 yards put him in this predicament. The play was really doomed from the start. It was an end around on which the Bills forgot to block, and Bush was a dead man running. It was his only rush attempt of the game, and two plays player the Bills missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt in the eventual loss.
For the season, Bush has five games with positive rushing yards and three with negative yards.
If interim head coach Anthony Lynn has a heart, he’ll give Bush a few cracks to get into the positive. Yes, Lynn is trying to win a game and show the bosses there he can be the man to replace Rex Ryan. We understand that. But it would be nice if Bush could avoid being the first back in more than 60 years to end up in the negative with double-digit carries and avoid that ignominy.
There’s also the possibility that this is Bush’s final NFL game. He turns 32 in March, has exactly 2,000 regular-season touches and received tepid interest at best before the Bills signed him. Overall, you can say his career has been disappointing, but it’s not as if Bush wasn’t a good player for an decade. He’s 127th all-time in yards from scrimmage and tied for 151st in all-purpose yards at 10,001. We certainly would hate to see him go even lower on that latter list and dip below the 10K mark, too.
It’s not as if Bush running once on Sunday for 4 yards is going to change his legacy. After all, only one player since 1955 has had 10-plus carries and finished with 1 or 0 yards rushing. And Bush’s rush average would still be at less than 0.1, which is, the fantasy folks will tell you, less than good. In fact, the lowest rush total for a back with 10 or more carries since the NFL merger is former Oakland Raiders RB Clarence Davis with 4 yards on 14 carries in 1978.
But for the man’s dignity, we say Bush should get a few cracks at knocking that negative sign off his stat sheet.
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