The Lions released Reggie Bush on Wednesday according to multiple sources. The former No. 2 overall pick had a rough 2014 in Detroit, battling injuries as he had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career.
Bush came into the league as a highly-touted, dynamic rusher from USC and was expected to become one of the league's top rushers. While Bush hasn't quite lived up to his lofty pre-draft standards, the former Heisman winner has been far from a bust, compiling nearly 9,000 yards of total offense and 53 touchdowns over the course of his nine year career. In fact, arguably Bush's best season came in 2013, when he compiled 1,500 yards of offense and seven touchdowns despite being in a nearly 50-50 split with Joique Bell for backfield work.
Admittedly, Bush was never destined to be a featured back in the NFL, despite his great size and 4.3 speed. The ability to avoid injuries, unfortunately, has seemingly escaped Bell, as he's only played a full season twice in his career.
The Steelers aren't in the market for a feature back. With a possible suspension looming for Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers need a viable, consistent veteran backup. In fact, Bush's skill set is nearly identical to Bell's. Of course, Bell is a far better pure runner, but both are elusive, both are excellent pass catchers and both are noted for their proficiency in pass protection.
Bush will likely come cheap, given his age and injury history, and most importantly, he won't come into a team expecting to contend for the lion's share of the carries. He's only surpassed the 200 carry mark twice in his career, and he's never exceeded 227 in a single season. Although his age indicates a red flag for an NFL running back, his usage suggests otherwise.
The Steelers are facing the possibility of being left with two running backs -- Dri Archer and Josh Harris -- as the only running backs on their roster during Bell's potential suspension. Giving the ineffectiveness of the running game during the Steelers' 30-17 loss to Baltimore in the playoffs, life without Bell has presented itself as quite the quandary.
The team may shy away from a veteran running back, given the failure of the LeGarrette Blount experiment last season, but Bush has never been an off-the-field distraction over the course of his career, and seems to exhibit the traits of a team oriented player. Besides, Bush's skill set would be a near-perfect fit for a prolific Steelers offense, even if he is the backup.