After rushing for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns last year, Bush seemed to have shed the label of never becoming a featured back in the NFL. Though he isn't too far off that pace in 2012, he was benched during the first half of Sunday's 37-3 home loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Bush had 312 total yards and two touchdowns through the season's first two games. After injuring his knee in a 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets in Week 3, the running back has failed to get back on track.
Dolphins' second-year running back Daniel Thomas had already started to work his way into the rotation. Bush being relegated to the bench could result in a full blown, running-back-by-committee approach—with Bush being used primarily on third downs or obvious passing situations.
Bush agreed with his first-half benching, citing that he must do a better job of protecting the football. However, he has to be disappointed that he has taken steps backward in further establishing himself as an every-down back in this league.
Is Bush still a fantasy must-start even if Dolphins reduce his role?
If the Dolphins are to split time with Bush and Thomas going forward, both must adjust quickly in accepting their new roles.
However, Bush has spent most of career as a specialist, and could thrive again if Thomas is able to provide stability as his complement.
If Miami can find the right mix in next week's road game with the Buffalo Bills—who are giving up 163.7 rushing yards per game—this potential set-up could turn out well for this offense.
For Bush's fantasy owners, however, expectations of him building off of last year's success should be tempered for now. If this demotion is permanent, his value might only be as a flex play at best.