When Reggie Bush is at his best, he’s a versatile, game-breaking running back.
He’s been a terrific performer for the Saints, Dolphins and Lions since entering the league in 2006 from USC.
But so far this season, the 49ers have gotten very little from Bush, who signed a one-year deal worth as much as $2.5 million.
Through five games, Bush has just four carries for 7 yards and one catch for 6.
Bush was expected to give the 49ers offense a dangerous, change-of-pace running back this season, especially on short swing passes and screens, two elements that long have been missing from the Niners’ game plan.
Instead, Bush hurt his left calf early in the season’s opening game against Minnesota. He then missed the next two games, played against the Packers last week but then aggravated the injury Sunday night in the 49ers’ 30-27 loss to the host Giants after carrying the ball just once for a loss of 1 yard.
Instead of playing a big role for a 49ers offense that needs him, he’s mostly been on the bench while rookie Mike Davis and former Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne have taken his snaps.
The question now is, how much will the 49ers get from one of their biggest offseason investments? Will the injury linger through the entire season?
San Francisco, at 1-4, will play host to the Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday afternoon, and Bush’s status is in doubt. Fives games into the season, and Bush still hasn’t had a chance to play the role he was expected to play.
It’s been a big disappointment for Bush, who signed with the 49ers because he believed it would be a good fit for his talents.
At age 30, though, he knows injuries are just part of the job. Before getting a chance to play the Packers in Week 4, Bush said, “You never feel 100 percent.” But he hoped to be able to contribute for the Packers game and the remainder of the season.
“There’s always little injuries here and there,” he told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “But if I’m there, then I’m playing. I’m giving 110 percent effort.”
Unfortunately for Bush and the 49ers, he can’t do that from the sideline. This 49ers offense is missing his presence.