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Lions hold out RB Reggie Bush out of practice

By LARRY LAGE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-18 16:02

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - In Detroit, Reggie Bush helps Calvin Johnson on the field for the Lions like Prince Fielder compliments Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers' lineup on the baseball field.

At least that's what Lions coach Jim Schwartz thinks.

``If you've got Miguel Cabrera and you don't have Prince Fielder behind him, he doesn't see good enough pitches to hit and they intentionally walk him a lot, and maybe the next guy can hit a sac fly,'' Schwartz said Wednesday on a conference call with Washington-area reporters. ``But Reggie's a guy that, if they intentionally walk Calvin, he can go hit a home run.''

Bush, though, may not play Detroit (1-1) against the Redskins (0-2) Sunday because of a banged-up left knee. He wasn't on the field when reporters had access Wednesday, and the team later announced later he didn't practice at all.

``He's obviously here today and I'll let the injury report speak for itself,'' Schwartz said.

One thing is clear: Detroit needs Bush on the field to help its chances of winning in Washington against the Redskins for the first time in franchise history.

When Bush has been healthy during his two-game career with the Lions, they've scored 34 points in a win over Minnesota Vikings and led Arizona 14-10 at halftime. Without Bush playing much in the second half Sunday, Detroit's offense was scoreless during a 25-21 loss to the Cardinals.

``There's a different dynamic to our offense when he's out there,'' Schwartz said. ``Not that we don't have good running backs, because we do, they can all make plays within the offense, but Reggie brings a different dimension, particularly in conjunction with Calvin Johnson.

``People play Calvin a little bit, and if they choose to spend too much time on a guy like Calvin, Reggie's a guy that can go hit a home run. I use a lot of baseball analogies, but it's like having a hitter protecting another hitter in a lineup.''

If Bush can't play against the Redskins, the running backs on the roster are: Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and Mikel Leshoure.

``It is just tough because (Bush) is one of our big guns and we rely on his playmaking ability, but that is why we have backups,'' Lions receiver Nate Burleson said.

Bell played in every game last season for the Lions as a backup. He gained nearly 900 yards from scrimmage as a power runner and solid receiver out of the backfield. Riddick earned a spot on the roster as an undrafted free agent from Notre Dame. He has been active because of his value on special teams in the first two games ahead of 2011 second-round pick Mikel Leshoure, who has fallen down the depth chart after starting 14 games last year.

The Lions may lean on Riddick to fill some of the roles Bush plays if the eight-year veteran has to miss his first game since 2015 with the Miami Dolphins.

``He's played wide receiver in the past in college,'' Schwartz said of Riddick. ``He's caught the ball well in the preseason games, he's ran the ball well in the preseason games. His talent set, his skill set, is unique from all of our running backs.

``I wouldn't say that if he ends up in a role that he's replacing a certain player, we're going to try to accentuate anybody's strengths and what they can do and Riddick is no different.''

NOTES: After being limited in practice, Lions DT Nick Fairley (shoulder) said he didn't know whether he would play at Washington on Sunday week after being inactive against Arizona. ... WR Patrick Edwards (ankle), S Louis Delmas (knee), S Don Carey (hamstring) and OT Jason Fox (groin) didn't practice while OG Rob Sims (knee) was limited.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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AP Sports Writer Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., contributed to this report.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

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