Since the Detroit Lions signed running back Reggie Bush back in March, there has been a lot of discussion about what role he might play on the team's special teams units. Bush is going to be used in a number of different ways on offense, but will the Lions bring his play-making abilities to the special teams as a returner?
As it stands right now, the Lions are preparing for Bush to contribute on special teams, at least as a punt returner. Don't expect to see him out there returning punts on a full-time basis, though. Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego recently told Tim Twentyman that Bush will likely be used situationally rather than on every punt return. From the Lions' official site:
"Reggie will have a role," Bonamego told detroitlions.com. "Reggie (can return punts) and is willing to do it. That's more situational -- we need one, let's put him back there and let's see if he can make something happen.
"I had him his first two years in the league in New Orleans and that was the way he was utilized in that role. So, he's back there catching them in practice."
If the Lions are down by a touchdown late in a game and get a defensive stop, for example, then you might see Bush get the call to return a punt in hopes of putting the offense in position to score.
I suppose it wouldn't really be necessary to have Bush return any punts if Micheal Spurlock or somebody else proves to be a weapon in that role on a full-time basis, but the Lions clearly value Bush's explosiveness. Putting him out there as a returner every now and then might be a good way to potentially catch opponents off guard.