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Bush hopes to return as Saints come off bye
The dynamic running back of the Saints (6-3) and punt returner was limited in practice on Wednesday. He’s been sidelined since breaking a bone in his lower right leg in Week 2.
“We’ll see what happens. I feel like this is a good weekend to get out there,” he said.
He said ultimately it is not just his decision because he’s never had an injury like this before.
“It’s me. It’s the coaches. It’s the trainers and the doctors. If we feel like collectively I can get back out there and play this weekend, I’ll get back out there,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would have been playing.”
Bush also was limited in practice late in Week 9 and traveled for a road game in Carolina, going through a pre-game workout before he was ruled out for his seventh missed game of the season.
“I felt like I could have played at that point,” Bush said. “Again, it’s not just my decision. It’s a collective decision and a collective effort.”
Last week, while many of the Saints left town for a short vacation during the bye week, Bush stayed in New Orleans and continued his rehabilitation and sounded optimistic that he would be back against Seattle and his old college coach at Southern California, Pete Carroll.
“He moved around pretty well and got some good work. We just keep plugging ahead and increasing the workload,” the coach said when asked if Bush’s return was likely this week. “Each week he has gotten better and … there haven’t been any setbacks, so naturally he’s better today than he was a week ago or two weeks ago.”
The Saints opened the season 2-0 with Bush in the lineup and are 4-3 since, although it’s not clear how much Bush’s absence hurt the offense from week to week. The Saints have had their three most lopsided victories _ double-digit wins over Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Carolina _ without Bush.
Still, his return would give the Saints more options. Bush has been effective as a runner, receiver and punt returner.
“There are many ways we can get Reggie the ball,” quarterback Drew Brees stressed after Wednesday’s practice. “Anytime you can just give him the ball in space, he’s a matchup problem for everybody, because there’s not really a guy who can cover him in a short area because of his quickness and athletic ability.”
It appears that the Saints are getting healthier as they get a stretch of the schedule that very well could decide how viable a threat they are to defend their Super Bowl title.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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