Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Monday, October 30, 2006
Bush says he'll be ready for Saints' game at Bucs

Associated Press

METAIRIE, La. -- Reggie Bush said his left ankle injury against Baltimore was more of an aggravation of a sprain that occurred in Week 1 at Cleveland, something he expects to keep playing with.

Reggie Bush has his ankle examined by trainers during the fourth quarter of the Saints' loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

"I'll be ready for Tampa," Bush said Monday between meetings and treatment at the New Orleans Saints' training headquarters.

The sprain is "something that's kind of been lingering since that first game and hasn't been 100 percent since," Bush said. "I've just been kind of playing through it. ... It just kept getting better and better every week, and I got to the point where I was feeling pretty good, and now I'm right back to the point where I started.

"But even then I was able to play through it, so it's really just a matter of me taking care of it," Bush said.

Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner and second overall pick in last spring's draft, left the Saints' 35-22 loss to Baltimore on Sunday in the fourth quarter after being tackled by Bart Scott, who rolled over Bush's lower legs as the two spun down.

Bush said he was unsure how the pain would affect his practice schedule and that he would follow the orders of coaches and trainers.

"In Reggie's case we're in pretty good shape," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Everything's clean in the X-Ray and the MRI."

Bush has been effective much of this season both running and receiving, getting clutch first downs that have helped sustain scoring drives, but he has rarely broken off big gains.

His only touchdown was a crucial one, however, a 65-yard, late-game punt return that lifted the Saints (5-2) to a victory over the Buccaneers.

He averaged nearly 107 all-purpose yards during the Saints' first six games. Bush was having his worst game of the season against Baltimore, however, running for only 16 yards on five carries and gaining only 5 yards on four catches. He also had thrown an interception on a halfback option pass and was involved in a fumble on a handoff from Drew Brees.