Reggie Bush was a year away from winning the Heisman Trophy at USC the last time the Lions had a 1,000-yard running back but, with 60 yards Sunday against the New York Giants, he'll reach a milestone last achieved by Kevin Jones in 2004.
"I didn't know (how long it's been), so hopefully I can break that and that'd be nice," Bush said. "That'd be good to add to the resume."
Bush, the Lions' top target in free agency this off-season, has delivered exactly what the team expected when it inked him to a four-year, $16-million deal in March.
He's been a matchup problem out of the backfield, a home-run threat who's kept defenses honest, and despite problems with fumbles an important cog in one of the league's highest-scoring offenses.
Bush ranks seventh in the NFL with 1,403 yards from scrimmage and is second on the team with 47 catches. He missed one game with a knee injury and another with a calf strain, and the Lions (7-7) are 1-2 in games he's missed or hasn't finished because of injuries.
"I think that's what we were looking for," center Dominic Raiola said. "We were looking for a running back and that's what he is. He's everything about a running back. We've seen he's a hard runner, and people can take away the negative but we like what we got in Reggie."
Bush, 28 and on his third NFL team, is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this season, the third-highest total of his eight-year career. He has one other 1,000-yard season to his credit, two years ago in Miami, and said that number still is a special one for running backs.
"It's tough," Bush said. "It's tough to run the ball in this league and to be able to gain 1,000 yards, so I think it is."
Lions leading rushers since Barry Sanders retired
2012: Mikel Leshoure 798 yards
2011: Jahvid Best 390 yards
2010: Jahvid Best 555 yards
2009: Kevin Smith 747 yards
2008: Kevin Smith 976 yards
2007: Kevin Jones 581 yards
2006: Kevin Jones 689 yards
2005: Kevin Jones 664 yards
2004: Kevin Jones 1,133 yards
2003: Shawn Bryson 606 yards
2002: James Stewart 1,021 yards
2001: James Stewart 685 yards
2000: James Stewart 1,184 yards
1999: Greg Hill 542 yards
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