Reggie Bush sent out a tweet saying he had good news, and privately told teammates he expects to be fine.
Even on the day after a loss, there was some relief for the Miami Dolphins.
Tests performed on Bush’s left knee showed no serious injury Monday, meaning the Dolphins (1-2) may have their top offensive player available this weekend when they travel to face unbeaten Arizona (3-0). His last carry came just before halftime of Miami’s 23-20 overtime loss against the New York Jets on Sunday, when he limped off the field and clearly was in pain.
”He’s healthy and he’ll be able to contribute,” offensive lineman Richie Incognito said.
Bush, who has 302 yards already this season, was getting rehabilitation and not in the locker room for the portion of Monday open to reporters. Hs lone public comment came on Twitter, where Bush wrote, ”Received some great news today! Praise the Lord!”
Bush got hurt on a first-down carry from the Miami 20 with about a half-minute left until halftime, a situation where some teams would consider kneeling to run out the clock.
So it wasn’t just Bush’s knee that was evaluated on Monday. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he would also evaluate the thinking behind calling a run play there, especially when the percentages of Miami adding to what was then a 10-3 lead before the half expired would seem, at best, minute.
”Right, wrong or indifferent, you certainly could argue we made some mistakes – or I made some mistakes, I should clarify that,” Philbin said. ”You know, every situation’s unique. You have to argue as a coach, do you have faith in your players to execute a base play in your offense and run the ball, or do you want to take a knee? I sometimes struggle with that.
”We’ll have to examine it,” Philbin added. ”We’ll take a look at it, we’ll discuss it, but I don’t know if there’s any hard, fast (rule).”
Philbin said a number of variables – score, time-out situations and momentum among them – goes into the decision into whether or not the time is right for a team to kneel on the football and run out time in the half.
”Every situation is unique,” Philbin said. ”That’s the great thing, the fun thing about game management.”
There were indications on Sunday that Bush’s knee injury was not going to be that serious.
Bush wanted to return to the game after halftime, even spending some time on a stationary bike on the Miami sideline in an effort to keep the knee loose.
If Bush cannot play this weekend, or is limited, the Dolphins would likely use Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller more than usual. Thomas finished with 69 yards on 19 carries against the Jets, and Miller had 48 yards on nine carries after halftime, including a 22-yard burst.
Miller said he asked Bush how he was doing Monday, and was told that he would ”be back soon.”
”I think he’ll be good by Sunday,” Miller said. ”I’m not sure. I know he’s doing a lot of rehab to try to get back and help the team out.”
Bush finished with 61 yards on 10 carries against the Jets, and his 6.0-yards-per-carry pace would be, by far, the best of his career. He entered the season averaging just under 4.3 yards per carry.
He’s also tied for third on the Dolphins with 10 receptions.
”I like what he’s done, every single game,” Philbin said. ”He’s been productive in every game, he’s played hard in every game, he’s been sound. So he’s done a very, very good job. All that being said, I don’t think it really changed the game a whole lot (when he left).”
Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett, who said he has been through six knee surgeries, said it was ”amazing” to learn that Bush was not dealing with a serious, structural problem with his knee.
”It’s a blessing,” Burnett said. ”You look at what the guy provides. He provides, he gives you the big play from first down to fourth down. Anytime this guy gets the ball in his hands, he’s liable to go score a touchdown. It helps us. He’s one of the top five playmakers in the National Football League.”