Miami Dolphins: What in the World Has Happened to Reggie Bush?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst INovember 5, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 04: Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins looks for running room while playing the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Miami Dolphin running back Reggie Bush started the season as one of the most dominant backs in the NFL. His 172-yard, two touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 was breath-taking. In Week 3, his first 10 carries for 61 yards against the New York Jets defense made him look unstoppable.

Bush, however, injured his knee near halftime in the game against the Jets. Since his injury, the explosive running back has not seemed like himself on the football field.

Moments of his brilliance return. His 18-yard touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday displayed his sheer athleticism and elusiveness as he bolted past defenders and into the end zone for an impressive score (only to get pushed down by Cassius Vaughn afterward for a personal foul).

But for his remaining nine carries on the afternoon, Bush only managed to produce 23 yards and was essentially ineffective, especially in comparison to backup Daniel Thomas who averaged over six yards per carry on the afternoon.

The questions that remain pertain to the fact that Bush's knee might still be bothering him. The same explosiveness that we saw in his performance at the beginning of this season has slowly dissipated. No longer is the USC product averaging over six yards with each carry, rather, he has seen his YPC drop to less than four since his injury in Week 3.

Miami's transition to more of a passing-oriented offense might explain Bush's recent performance. As rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill continues to become more comfortable in the NFL, head coach Joe Philbin wants to build the playbook around him.  Bush is not necessarily seeing the same amount of carries as he did in the beginning of the year.  This also has to do with his lack of effectiveness and, as such, Coach Philbin resorts more to the pass.

But other than that, Bush's status still remains a question mark. As a Dolphins' fan, I desperately look forward to his return as a dominant back while the Dolphins race towards a playoff berth. We can only wonder when that type of performance we will see going forward.