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.
"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
"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.