After another subpar performance during Thursday night's 19-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the question of whether or not Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush is in head coach Joe Philbin's doghouse is a legit one.
Since tallying 312 total yards and two touchdowns in the season's first two games, Bush has only gained 457 total yards and two touchdowns in his last eight contests.
Bush being benched in last week's 37-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans adds credence to the fact that Philbin is trying to send the running back a message. The Dolphins' failure to establish a running game against the league's worst run defense on Thursday night could signal something more.
Though Bush is the most established presence among the Dolphins' stable of runners, second-year back Daniel Thomas had already started to vulture some of the workload prior to the last two games.
However, how much of Miami's lack of a running game recently can be attributed to game circumstances?
The Dolphins found themselves behind by three touchdowns early in the second quarter against the Titans. Abandoning the rush was a necessity if Miami had any chance of winning that game.
How does one explain Thursday night's debacle though? Only gaining 60 yards on 24 carries is unacceptable against a Bills run defense that had allowed 163.7 yards per game up to that point.
Even more deplorable was Bush only gaining 35 total yards on 12 touches.
Bush's success in 2011 could have been the push he needed to shed the label of never becoming a featured running back in this league. Instead, we are seeing much of the same prior to last season.
Without Bush being productive, the Dolphins won't win many games. But if he isn't given much of a chance to help this team, who is to blame?
If Bush is indeed in Philbin's doghouse, Miami's season is over. The head coach must see more value in making a statement as opposed to winning games.