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New Lions safety Rafael Bush ready to go after 'bummer' 2015 season

Rafael Bush is expected to become a starter at strong safety for the Saints. Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports

Last season was a “bummer” for new Detroit Lions safety Rafael Bush.

He saw the possibility of getting snaps with the New Orleans Saints. He’d have a chance to start in the NFL; not bad for an undrafted free agent in 2010 who had to bounce around a couple of places before landing with the Saints.

Then, in his first game, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle. It ended his season and, although he likely didn’t know it at the time, his tenure with the Saints. But he is motivated and itching to get going again after signing a one-year deal with the Lions on Saturday.

“It was an unfortunate, freak accident,” Bush said. “Gave me some time to sit around and think, get myself together mentally. But I’m feeling fine now. Obviously I’m feeling fine. I’m getting ready to work. I’m ready to roll.

“I’ve been out of football for the whole season, so I’m excited. I’m enthused and I’m ready to get to work.”

The 28-year-old Bush said he’s already been cleared to participate in offseason workouts when they begin at the Lions' facility in Allen Park, Mich. next month.

Bush didn’t want to get too much into what his role will be, but he’s expected to become a starter at strong safety next to Glover Quin, who was a Pro Bowler in 2014.

Bush has played 51 games, including the playoffs, making 120 tackles with one interception, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. He has been an effective special teams player, however, with 17 special teams tackles in six NFL seasons after going undrafted out of South Carolina State in 2010 (he would eventually sign with the Falcons).

“I find myself to be versatile and be able to do multiple things,” Bush said. “Like I said, we haven’t gotten into logistics of role or scheme or anything of that nature. But I think I can do a lot of multiple things and I’m excited to see what the season holds.

“I think we have a great team, some nice pieces.”

Bush is the third defensive back signing by the Lions this week, joining former New England safety Tavon Wilson and special teams standout/defensive back Johnson Bademosi. He’s the 10th player Detroit has signed or re-signed since Wednesday as Bob Quinn shapes his roster in his first season as Lions general manager.