DETROIT -- He had established a role throughout most of the season, showing his ability to run routes and make decisive cuts. Theo Riddick made his worth in big plays, too, including two huge ones in Week 8 against Atlanta.
Yet on Sunday, Riddick legitimately disappeared from the Detroit Lions' lineup. He played no offensive snaps. A former special teams stalwart during his rookie season, he was only used on seven plays there.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Riddick did not violate a team rule, like teammate Brandon Pettigrew, who missed a quarter because of it. Nope, Caldwell indicated Riddick played zero snaps and zero role in the Detroit offense because that’s just how it fell.
"It’s just one of those things," Caldwell said. "Sometimes you get into the flow of the game, you’ve got so many guys running in-and-out of there. George (Winn) played some, Reggie (Bush) played a little bit more, it kind of takes that ball out of Riddick’s hands a little bit."
There is truth to that, but it seems to be in direct correlation to Bush’s return to the lineup. Consider this: Riddick has not had more than seven snaps in a game this season which Bush also participated in. Without him the past three weeks, Riddick has played 16, 25 and 24 offensive plays, respectively.
And based on Bush only playing 22 of 69 snaps Sunday -- it’s clear Bush just siphoned away Riddick’s snaps with Joique Bell and his 44 snaps the main running back for the Lions.
Bush was used on 14 of his 22 snaps Sunday -- eight rushes for 26 yards and six targets (four catches) for eight yards. The first stat might be the biggest reason Bush is playing over Riddick right now.
Bush is still a better rusher than Riddick, who is averaging 2.5 yards per carry this season and had a career-long rush of nine yards. Bush offers more options there, which could explain why he has been used in place of Riddick.
Riddick might be the better receiver at this point, but Bush still has more roles within the offense as a runner and catcher. Neither, though, is as versatile as Bell at this point, who had 18 carries and five targets (five catches for 50 yards) in his 44 snaps.