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Man, I've been waiting for this all season!
Michael Bush has had a strange odyssey with the Oakland Raiders.
Originally pegged to be a 1st round draft choice and a Heisman favourite, Bush severly broke his leg in his junior year of college. Despite the severity of the injury, Bush's talent was enough that the Raiders took a chance on him with a fourth round pick.
When Bush arrived and got healthy, he was immediately relegated to the PUP and the practice field. Although he was upset and baffled by the decision, Bush put his head down and worked his tail off to get 100 percent healthy and be ready to contribute.
Coming into this season, with McFadden's early-career struggles and injury prone nature, it was widely speculated that Bush would be the Raiders feature back and McFadden would be the complimentary piece.
Well, Bush suffered a "Bennett" fracture to his left (carrying) thumb in the Raiders preseason contest against the San Francisco 49ers, and although he healed at a rapid pace, is just now ready to come back to take the full load.
The timing is perfect, as McFadden is laid up yet again by a hamstring issue and won't be able to play this week.
Prior to this season, Bush had been the Raiders most prolific back over the past two seasons, having the Raiders last two 100 yard performances and generally holding the faith of Raider fans that he was the best option.
But McFadden, when healthy, has been one of the top five running backs in the entire league this season, using his speed and elusiveness in a combination with a new found running fury to hold the second most yards from scrimmage by an NFL running back this season, just behind Houston's Arian Foster.
Michael Bush is under pressure to keep the Raiders running game going forward and maintain the production McFadden has shown thus far; to hold onto the ball with his newly healed thumb; and to run effectively to keep the defense off the field and alleviate some pressure on the passing game.
In short, he's under a lot more pressure this week than he normally would be due to the production of McFadden. Bush has shown in the past he's capable of the same kind of production.
Raider Nation has fallen in love with D-Mac and will expect a high level performance from Bush on Sunday. McFadden's success has put that much more pressure on the ample shoulders of big Mike.