Bears put Bush on IR and are bringing back Bell
Bears put Bush on IR, bring back Bell
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 2:54 p.m. CST, December 18, 2012
The Chicago Bears put Michael Bush in uniform for Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers when he didn’t play and now they are putting him on injured reserve.
Bush’s season ends with a rib injury and his roster spot has been taken by Kahlil Bell, who is now back with the team for the third time this year.
Bush was injured in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 2 and got one carry the following week at Minnesota before coming out. He was available against the Packers and his absence became an issue when starting running back Matt Forte failed to score on two carries from the one-yard line on a possession that ended in a field goal.
Bush, who said Sunday he did not have a broken rib, had been successful in short-yardage situation this season, ones that plagued the Bears the previous two seasons with Marion Barber and Chester Taylor.
“He was in uniform but still we were going to use him only if we had to,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said, explaining the reason for not using Bush at the goal line. “Still wasn’t quite ready to go.”
Bell spent a month with the New York Jets before he was released last week to make room for wide receiver Braylon Edwards. He made one catch with the Jets. Bell spent three weeks with the Bears earlier in the season after Forte suffered a sprained ankle in the Week 2 loss at Green Bay. He carried 12 times for 32 yards.
Bell, 26, started three games late last season for the Bears when Forte was sidelined with a knee injury, rushing for a career-high 337 yards on 79 carries. Now, he will be able to help out with Forte and Armando Allen for the final two games.
Bell’s fate entering the season was pretty much sealed after Bush was signed to a $14 million, four-year contract in free agency and Forte returned with a multi-year contract after the franchise tag was placed on him. The Bears had tendered Bell as a restricted free agent for $1.26 million and he was waived Aug. 23 after declining to accept a pay cut. His salary would have been prohibitive for a third running back with Forte and Bush making big money.
Bush’s season ends with 411 yards on 114 carries. He has a team-high five rushing touchdowns, scoring twice against the Colts in the season opener and in the Nov. 25 victory over the Vikings. He becomes the eighth player the team has placed on injured reserve.