Michael Bush had a disappointing 2012 season, but it wasn't due to a lack of toughness. The Chicago Bears running back played part of the season with a broken shoulder bone, according to the Chicago Tribune, before eventually being placed on injured reserve due to a serious rib injury.
For his part, Bush said he had no problem dealing with the pain.
"How did I play through it? The same way I was going to play through the rib injury until I realized (the rib injury) was worse than what it was,'' Bush said. "That's just me. Once I broke my leg (in college) ... if it ain't my leg and it ain't my feet and I can still walk around and run, I'm going to play.''
The Bears signed Bush to a four-year contract before the season to be the team's short-yardage back and goal-line back, but Bush managed just five rushing touchdowns in a Bears offense that often struggled to get the ball near the end zone. Bush averaged just 3.6 yards per carry on his way to 411 yards rushing in 13 games last season.
The running back could reprise his role next season and might have much better success behind a revamped Bears offensive line. The team signed Jermon Bushrod from New Orleans to play left tackle and drafted Kyle Long out of Oregon in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft to handle right tackle duties with the expectation that both players will make an immediate impact. Matt Forte is still the team's top back, however, though his struggles in short-yardage situations are well documented.
Bush has an opportunity to be very productive if he can stay healthy. So far, he has given every indication that he is doing just fine mentally, but told the Tribune that he won't be trying to take it any easier on his body this season:
"If you think about it, that's when you're going to get hurt.''