LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Reggie Bush ready to return; Raiola looking forward and not back and more

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Running back Reggie Bush expects to return to the practice field this week and play Monday night vs. Baltimore after missing last week’s game in Philadelphia with a calf injury

Who knows how much of a difference having Reggie Bush would of made for the Detroit Lions in a loss to the Eagles last week?

It’s not a big stretch to think he could have had a big impact in blizzard-like conditions after watching Eagles running back LeSean McCoy – a similar-style runner to Bush – go off for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

Joique Bell ran 23 times for 69 yards and a touchdown in place of Bush, but also fumbled twice in Eagles territory.

Bush re-aggravated a calf injury in warm-ups the he first suffered earlier in the week at practice. He told media members in front of his locker on Wednesday there was no way he could have pushed through the injury and played.

He did, however, say that he expects to return to the practice field this week and plans to play Monday night when the Lions host the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

"It’s one of those things where I can’t really wrap my brain around it because it’s never happened to me before," Bush said of a pulled muscle injury. "I still don’t really understand how it happened. It’s just one of those things and I look forward to getting back this week."

The Lions aren’t the same without Bush, whose 1,302 scrimmage yards are the eighth-most in the NFL.

In fact, the Lions are 6-0 this year when they run for at least 117 yards in a game.

LOOKING FORWARD

There were no "what if’s" permeating around the Lions locker room. No could have, should have, or would have, either.

The main focus was looking forward to Monday night's game against the Ravens and not looking back. It’s probably best that way, really, because looking back could drive one insane.

Dominic RaiolaC Dominic Raiola (Photo: AP Images)

This team has had a number of opportunities to seized control of the NFC North but have let them slip through their fingers (literally) the last month. Now they find themselves in a race to the finish.

"If we let that creep in then it’s going to prevent us from doing what we want to do," center Dominic Raiola said. "After all the opportunities we’ve had, everything is still in front of us. That’s the beauty about it. I think having a short memory is going to help us.

"Talking about the opportunities we’ve had is not going to help us. What’s really going to help us is locking in on Baltimore."

Raiola admitted he was down "for a couple days" thinking about opportunities the Lions failed to capitalize on, but quickly snapped out of it knowing they still control their own playoff destiny.

"It’s time we not talk about what could have happened … and put our foot down and move forward," he said.

Veteran receiver Nate Burleson couldn’t agree more.

"We have to be thinking about practice," he said. "We have to be thinking about protecting the ball this week. We have to be thinking about the Baltimore Ravens.

"I’m concerned with the Detroit Lions going out Monday night and playing a game without self wounds and that is my biggest concern for this team."

ABANDONING THE KICKING GAME

The Lions abandoned the kicking game in lieu of going for two-point conversions last week in Philadelphia because of the adverse weather conditions.

It was influenced by the accumulation of snow from the time they first went out to warm up until game time.

"That came up during the game," kicker David Akers said. "We came out and ran around before the game. There were a couple of flakes around. We came out to do pregame and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground."

The one time in the game Akers was called upon to kick an extra point, it was blocked.

"The biggest thing is, when you take your first step to the ball . . . you couldn’t generate the power behind you to get lift," Akers said. "It becomes a huge variable to mess with. I slid right through the ball."

The drive step was the biggest issue.

"That’s where you slip," he said. "Your hips are out in front of your shoulders. There are a lot of technical aspects."

Akers said they couldn’t get the distance down for the snap to hold because of the snow. They wound up shorter than eight yards. C.J. Mosley then slipped and got pushed back, which helped contribute to the block.