Bills running back and former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush is in jeopardy of becoming the the first non-quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger to finish a season with negative rushing yards on double-digit carries.
With one game to go, Bush's stat line reads 12 rushing attempts for negative-3 yards.
"It's tough," Bush said in the locker room Wednesday. "I just didn't have a lot of opportunities this year. And so I'm not worried about that, finishing with negative yards or anything like that. If I had more opportunities, it would be a different story. But I didn't have that."
Still, Bush's rate of futility would be historic. It's also incredible considering he was one of the best players in college football history and a second overall draft pick.
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) December 28, 2016
The last player to finish in negative yardage on at least 10 rushes, excluding quarterbacks, was Chicago fullback John Adams in 1961.
“I would love to get him a couple carries,” interim coach Anthony Lynn said. “I thought I had a successful play last week, and it didn’t work out so well. But Reggie works hard and he’s made a lot of yards over his career, and so it’s just been poor timing.”
Bush said he hasn't lobbied for touches this week to break back into positive yardage, but he'll be prepared if they come.
"You know, if they call my number, I'll be ready," he said. "That's always been my mentality. If they call my number I'll be ready."
Bush got back into positive yardage in early December, but dropped below zero again last Saturday against the Dolphins. In chronological order, Bush's 12 carries this season have gone for -3, 5, -6, 3, 1, 5, 1, 2, -10, 3, 4 and -8 yards. He has one touchdown.
Bush's two biggest negative plays could be seen as a bit unlucky. One was a running back pass against the Patriots that went down as a 10-yard loss.
Against Miami, Bush took a reverse in overtime but was dropped 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage, which moved Dan Carpenter's field goal back to a 45-yarder.
“Obviously I thought it was going to work, you know?” Lynn said of the reverse in field-goal range. “Every play I call, I think it’s going to work. And I know that play is outhouse or castle, and it ended up being outhouse.”
Bush ranks 11th on the Bills rushing list, behind three other running backs, three receivers, two quarterbacks, the fullback and the punter. He turns 32 in March but told The News last week he has no plans to retire – "I have a lot left to give this game," he said.