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Run Defense Could Face Simpler Test

With speedy Lions running back Reggie Bush sitting out of practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday, the woeful Redskins run defense may face a much more straightforward challenge.

BY ZAC BOYER

ASHBURN – The Redskins’ inability to stop the run over the first two weeks could face a reprieve on Sunday against the Lions.

Reggie Bush did not practice each of the last two days because of a bruised left knee, and there’s a strong chance he’ll be unable to play.

“We’ll always prepare for a guy like that to play because he’s a great playmaker, a fantastic athlete,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “If he doesn’t play, I’m really a fan of [Joique] Bell and [Mikel] Leshoure. I think those guys are awesome.”

The Redskins finished fifth in the league against the run last year, allowing an average of only 95.8 yards a game. The 4.2 yards per rush allowed ranked 13th.

Those numbers are foreign to the Redskins this season. They’ve allowed a whopping 201 rushing yards a game, including 263 yards to the Eagles in the season opener. Their 5.5 yards allowed per rush is topped only by the woeful Jaguars.

A lot of that, Haslett said, is the result of poor run fits and gap responsibility – things he believes can be easily corrected in practice.

Yet facing Bell, a third-year running back out of Wayne State, instead of Bush isn’t necessarily a godsend. James Starks, the Packers’ backup, had his first 20 carries and ran for 132 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.

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