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Reggie Bush could serve as returner for Lions

Could we see Reggie Bush returning kicks and punts for the Detroit Lions? Jim Schwartz isn't ruling out the possibility.

Jonathan Ferrey

The Detroit Lions signed running back Reggie Bush to fill a role on offense that was missing last season. Without Jahvid Best available, the Lions didn't have a home-run threat coming out of the backfield. Bush is expected to provide exactly that on offense, and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said on Wednesday that we could also see that home-run threat on special teams. From MLive:

"He can change field position and do those things. Again, it's a little bit like talking about Riley (Reiff) and where he's going to play. That will all shake out over the course of offseason, training camp, and preseason games, and everything else, but he's certainly a guy that you want touching the football, and anyway we can get him touching the football will be good for the Lions."

Bush didn't return punts last season with the Miami Dolphins, but he does have experience in that role. His best season as a punt returner came back in 2008 when he averaged 13.5 yards per return and had three touchdowns. He has shown that he can be explosive on punt returns, and that's something the Lions were lacking in a big way last season.

The Lions were also lacking an explosive kick returner last season, but Bush only has one career kick return in the NFL. I'd imagine it's more likely that Bush will occasionally return punts than kicks, but as Schwartz said, it's all about getting the ball in the hands of playmakers like him. That may only mean giving him a few chances each game to return punts or kicks rather than giving him those roles full time, but that would be enough to keep opponents off balance on special teams.