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Published: Thursday, 9/26/2013

Lions’ Bush practices, says he’ll play

Lions RB Reggie Bush practices, says he'll play vs Bears after missing game with hurt knee

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bush Bush
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ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Reggie Bush gave the Detroit Lions a welcome dose of good news.

The speedy running back said he will play against the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday, a week after missing a game with a banged up knee.

Bush made it through the entire practice Wednesday, a little more than 24 hours after it was announced that Nate Burleson, Detroit’s No. 2 receiver, needs surgery after breaking an arm in a car accident. There is no timeline on his return.

“It was good to get back in there,” Bush said. “Just to get back in the swing of things and get my feet back underneath me and start to lay out this foundation to get ready for the Chicago Bears. Obviously, it’s a big game.”

Detroit (2-1) can move into a first-place tie in the division if it can hand the Bears (3-0) their first loss on Sunday at Ford Field.

Bush didn’t practice last week until Friday, when he participated on a limited basis, and he was inactive for Sunday’s win at Washington.

“It was a huge sense of relief that it only kept me out only one game,” Bush said.

Bush was hurt in a Week 2 loss against the Arizona Cardinals after accounting for 191 yards of offense in his Detroit debut to help the Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings.

“In the beginning when I first injured it, I thought it could be something serious before we got the MRI and spoke with the doctor,” Bush said. “As the week went on, it started to get a lot better. When I got to Friday, I felt like I could play.”

Detroit coach Jim Schwartz wasn’t willing to celebrate the fact that Bush took a big step toward making it back on the field by participating in a practice.

“It was encouraging to get all the guys that are limited in some way to get them out there,” Schwartz said. “We certainly want to get everybody on the field, and he’s no different.

“We missed him on Sunday. We were able to put a good game plan together and we were able to execute that game plan. But he’s a very valuable part of our offense and he affects the way defenses play us. If we can get him back on the field, that will be a big plus.”

The Lions haven’t said how long Burleson might be out, but he’s not expected to be back any time soon. In his absence, they will lean on secondary receivers Ryan Broyles, Micheal Spurlock, Patrick Edwards, and Kris Durham to complement Calvin Johnson.

Bush can envision lining up as a slot receiver more than he has previously for the Lions.

“I could see that probably,” he said. “But we have other receivers: Broyles, Spurlock, Edwards. I don’t think anybody on this team is worried about where we’re at or is panicking.”

RAIDERS/​PRYOR: Matt Flynn might finally get another chance to start a game at quarterback in the NFL. After being beaten out for starting gigs the past two preseasons in Seattle and Oakland, Flynn could start this week for the Raiders with Terrelle Pryor recovering from a concussion.

Flynn got his first extensive work with the first team at practice on Wednesday since falling behind Pryor on the depth chart in training camp and could start Sunday against Washington.

“I’ve been in this spot before,” Flynn said Wednesday. “This isn’t new for me. I’m going to prepare like I am going to play. I have to do that to be ready just in case. I’m going to do everything I can to prepare like I would be the starter this week and see where it goes from there. Nobody knows.”

Pryor has not been cleared to return to practice yet after getting hurt late in Monday night’s loss in Denver, when he was knocked out on a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker Wesley Woodyard on a quarterback draw.

STEELERS/​BELL: Le’Veon Bell believes he’s a quick healer.

The rookie running back from Michigan State will make his long awaited debut Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to London to face the Minnesota Vikings. Bell hasn’t played since spraining his right foot two carries into a preseason game last month.

Told he would be out eight weeks, Bell plans to be ready in six. He practiced Wednesday, and barring a late setback he will be available as the Steelers try to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1986.

“I’m just excited to see what he can do because nobody knows,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Nobody’s seen him in game action.”

BUCS/​FREEMAN: Tampa Bay have benched quarterback Josh Freeman and replaced him with rookie Mike Glennon.

The move Wednesday came two days after coach Greg Schiano insisted Freeman remained the starter because he gave the team the best chance to win.

The winless Bucs have lost their first three games, two on field goals in the closing seconds. Freeman has completed just 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two TDs, and three interceptions.

Glennon was drafted in the third round out of North Carolina State, where he spent part of his college career as a backup to Russell Wilson. He will make his first pro start Sunday at home against Arizona.

49ERS/​RAMS: Though St. Louis was among the few teams enjoying the upper hand against San Francisco last year, coach Jeff Fisher says it’s far from a rivalry.

Counting one playoff game, the series that used to be a battle of California is tied 62-62-3, with both at .500 at home and on the road entering today’s game. Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson showed for Rams practice during the short-week buildup and fondly recalled any 49ers matchup as a big game.

“We hate the Niners,” said the 53-year-old Dickerson, who starred for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1980s.

“That hasn’t changed.”



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