The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be zeroing in on some help for the backfield, with Reggie Bush likely to join the team to help the shorthanded running back position.
The Bills found out last week that they will be losing promising second-year back Karlos Williams for the first four games of the season after a failed drug test. For a run-heavy team with a deep rotation of backs, the Bills will need some help to at least get them through the first quarter of the season, and the versatile Reggie Bush may be the man for the job.
Buffalo News writer Vic Carucci reported this week that the Bills have been in discussions with Bush’s agent to bring him to Buffalo, though they haven’t announced any kind of deal yet.
Bush has played for four different teams since being drafted second overall in 2006, including spending an injury-shortened season with the San Francisco 49ers last year.
As NJ.com noted, Bush’s production has dropped in recent years and it’s difficult to tell what kind of back the Bills would be getting if they sign him.
“The issue for Bush lately has been staying on the field. After he ran for 1,006 yards with the Lions in 2013 (in 14 games), he played in 11 games for them in 2014 (and ran for just 297 yards). Then he played in just five games for San Francisco last season, and ran for 28 yards.
“Last year, he hurt his leg in the season opener. Then, in November, he sustained a season-ending meniscus tear in his knee. But if Bush can stay healthy, he might just give the Bills some athleticism and depth at running back.”
While the Buffalo Bills are rumored to be deep in discussions with Reggie Bush, there is a movement growing among fans and some players to reunite the team with one of the most beloved running backs in team history. Fred Jackson, who was cut by the Bills last season after a decade with the team, remains a free agent after he couldn’t reach an extension with the Seattle Seahawks.
Bills safety Aaron Williams, a longtime friend of Jackson, publicly backed the idea of signing Fred Jackson and said on Twitter that it was “ridiculous that it hasn’t happened yet.”
It’s not clear if the Bills would ever be able to reach a deal with Fred Jackson. His departure wasn’t on the best of terms, as there was some tension between Jackson and Bills general manager Doug Whaley.
Whatever the Bills decide to do, they will have a fairly large hole to fill on the roster. Karlos Williams ran for 517 yards and seven touchdowns along with 96 yards receiving and two touchdown receptions last season, despite losing some time after suffering a concussion.
But there is some growing concern about his future with the team. Even before Williams was suspended for a failed drug test, he had showed up to the team’s mandatory minicamp very overweight, which at the time he blamed on some sympathetic eating with his pregnant fiancé.
As the Democrat and Chronicle noted, Williams didn’t seem to take the weight gain too seriously.
“Williams said part of the problem was he often ate at crazy times because his fiancée was pregnant, and he let his eating get out of control while slacking off on his conditioning work. He made light of the situation at mini-camp when he said, ‘I like to eat and then her being pregnant gave me an excuse to eat, so eating anything and everything. She’d wake up, one or two o’clock, ‘I want a snack.’ Well I’m not going to sit here and watch you eat because I don’t want you to feel bad.”‘
But the rumors that the Buffalo Bills are looking into signing Reggie Bush rather than elevating late-season pickup Mike Gillislee into the backup role may mean they’re looking for a potential permanent replacement in case Williams can’t turn it around.
[Photo by Tom Gannam/AP Images]