Should The Buffalo Bills Sign Reggie Bush?

Nov 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush (23) runs the ball during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush (23) runs the ball during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

With two of the Bills top four running backs running into issues lately, should the Bills sign Reggie Bush?

The Buffalo Bills running backs corps made a ton of noise last season finishing as the number one rushing attack in yards, yards per carry and touchdowns. This offseason they are making noise for very different reasons and only one of those developments has been positive.

The positive development was when it was announced by the NFL recently that LeSean McCoy is no longer at risk of being suspended by the league for the altercation he was involved in with Philadelphia police officers over a bottle of champagne the night of the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately for the Bills that’s as far as the good news goes. The bad news first started when running back Karlos Williams showed up to minicamp overweight and was held out of some drills for his own health. Things only got worse for Williams who was suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

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Just a day or two prior to that announcement, another Bills running back named Williams ran into trouble. This time, it was their fifth-round pick Jonathan Williams who was arrested on suspicion of DWI in Arkansas. He could also face a suspension. According to an article from Ryan Talbot of

"“If he’s found guilty, a first offense under the NFL’s revised policy (2014) for DUI will result in a two-game suspension. Based on informed NFL sources that suspension stands a good chance of being imposed at some point during the 2016 regular season.”"

So with the chance of two Bills running backs being suspended this season what should the team do? They currently have LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee, Boom Herron and James Wilder Jr. on the roster. The Bills can’t feel comfortable having just those four on the roster if both Williams suspensions overlap. All those players except Shady were practice squad level players a year ago.

With the current uncertainty over the position, should the Bills look to sign the current free agent Reggie Bush? According to Kevin Patra of the Bills front office thinks so as they have already extended an offer to the back.

Reggie’s last meaningful season was in 2013 when he put up 1,004 yards rushing for the Detroit Lions with 506 yards receiving to compliment it. In 2014 he only amassed around 550 total yards from scrimmage in 11 games and in 2015 for the 49ers he only tallied 47 yards in five games. Not exactly the trend you want to see but the Bills don’t need to rely on him as a long-term option just a short-term fix so it’s not as alarming.

The Bills also must consider his injury history. His last season was ended prematurely when he suffered a meniscus tear. In 10 seasons in the league, Bush only played 16 games twice. He did manage to put up double-digit games in eight of the 10 seasons but he is still a risk for injury.

The Bills currently do not have a designated punt returner. This is something that Reggie has done in the past to varying success and is possibly an area which he could contribute to the team when not in the backfield. His 7.8 yard career average on punt returns would have put him right around the middle of the pack as far as team averages in 2015.

It’s hard to ultimately get excited about the Bills bringing in Reggie Bush. He has had declining stats, prior injury history and his punt returning stats do not jump off the charts. Having said that, it’s hard to be inspired by any of their other options.

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Bringing in Reggie at a veteran minimum salary to at least compete for a spot in training camp could ultimately prove to be a wise decision for a team with little other options to replace their current crop of players who have found themselves in trouble with the NFL and the law.

The Bills should kick the tires on Bush and see if they can strike a deal. He’d be a pretty low-cost insurance policy should anything else happen to their running backs.