The Detroit Lions are blessed with one of the most talented backfields in the NFL, and they have all the ingredients of a high-powered offense with a talented quarterback, a top-notch wide receiver duo after inking Golden Tate (more WR help should be on its way in the draft), a standout offensive line, and an excellent backfield. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell form one of the best running back duos in the league, and it’s incredible watching how both of them are able to make a strong impact as receivers out of the backfield and make defenders miss. The Lions are also high on Mikel Leshoure, and it will be interesting to see how many touches he gets next year; it sounds like the Lions would like to give him more opportunities, especially since he could become a valuable trade chip.
It’s clear that the Lions value all of their running backs, as they gave Bell a second-round tender in restricted free agency, decided not to trade Leshoure last year, and I can’t think of a reason why the Lions wouldn’t love to have Bush around. But the Lions apparent desire to give Leshoure and Bell more carries will cut into Bush’s workload. It’s not a guarantee, but that will most likely be the case.
How does Bush feel about it? He’s totally cool with getting less touches next season and feeding those off to the other talented RBs on the roster. He said, via ESPN NFL Nation’s Michael Rothstein, “We had a pretty good rotation going last (season), so, you know, we did some pretty special things with that. It can only go up from there, even if the workload is less for both of us, that’s only going to help us toward the end of the season, help us to stay healthy and probably play a little bit stronger and better toward the end of the season.”
Last season, Reggie Bush had 276 touches with 223 carries for just over 1,000 yards, as well as 54 catches for just over 500 receiving yards. As usual, the elusive back was a monster last year, but a lower workload would do him well. 276 carries is an awful lot of touches for a back getting closer to 30, so less work would help lengthen his career and optimize each of his touches so that he can average even more yards per pop. Decreasing his workload to give more opportunities to Leshoure and touches to the other half of the Lions dynamic, all-purpose backfield duo sounds like a good plan to me.