Michael Bush ended up being exactly the player the Chicago Bears thought they were getting a year ago. Brought in for his size and to provide a good change of pace from Matt Forte, Bush performed his duties well in 2012. Injuries ultimately hindered an otherwise solid season, but it wasn’t reported until recently just how hurt the running back was. Bush broke a bone in his shoulder in week two and continued to play until the final two games when he was placed on IR because of an unrelated rib injury.
The type of shoulder injury he had normally requires three to four months of recovery time, but Bush continued to play through it. It says a lot about his toughness, but it also was likely a contributing factor to his career-low 3.6 yards per carry.
Although the perception is that Forte missed a lot of time due to injury in 2012, Bush missed three games, while Forte couldn’t go in only one. But there were still times when Forte couldn’t get on the field, and Bush filled in admirably.
Bush racked up a total of 411 rushing yards in 13 games last season, and I’m betting he’ll be right back in the 400-500 yard range again in 2013. In terms of number of carries for the second-string back, I’ll estimate between 115-130. Look for Bush to continue to get lots of short yardage work and for the Bears to continue to take advantage of his 6-2, 243 pound-frame in pass protection.
Michael Bush is the thunder that Chicago needs in its backfield. Look for him to continue that role in 2013, and if he can stay fully healthy, fans should expect a little uptick in his production.
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