NFL

Reggie Bush Sued the St. Louis Rams Over Their ‘Concrete Ring of Death’

During his time in college, Reggie Bush seemed destined for NFL stardom. In the pros, however, the running back faced a different reality. While he managed to put together a few solid seasons and spent 11 seasons in the league, Bush never quite put it all together. Unfortunately, he also had some awful luck when it came to injuries.

One of those injuries, however, wasn’t confined to the football field. After tearing his meniscus in St. Louis, Reggie Bush sued the St. Louis Rams over their “concrete ring of death.”

Reggie Bush’s football career

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These days, most football fans probably look back at Reggie Bush as a classic case of missed potential. While it’s true that the running back never turned into a true game-breaker, he did have a solid career on the gridiron.

Bush, of course, burst onto the scene with the USC Trojans. During his time in California, the running back proved to be a double threat capable of carrying the ball or catching passes with equal ease. He racked up 4,470 all-purpose yards and 38 total touchdowns in three NCAA seasons, claiming the 2005 Heisman Trophy; he would later relinquish the award, however, after an NCAA investigation.

On the back of that success, Bush entered the 2006 NFL draft and landed with the New Orleans Saints as the second-overall pick. While he spent five seasons in the Big Easy, recorded over 1,300 all-purpose yards as a rookie, and won a Super Bowl title, the running back never turned into the franchise player that he once seemed destined to become.

Bush then landed with the Miami Dolphins, where he had a bit of a career resurgence. He parlayed that success into a deal with Detroit Lions but ultimately fell behind Joique Bell in the pecking order and was released after two seasons. In March 2015, he signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers; it was during that campaign that he had his fateful encounter with the Rams’ “ring of death.”

Suffering a brutal injury in St. Louis

By the time he joined the San Francisco 49ers, Reggie Bush was already trending in the wrong direction. During the 2015 season, though, things would get even worse.

During a Week 1 meeting with the Minnesota Vikings, Bush went down with a leg injury. The running back missed the next two games and, when he returned in Week 4, was merely a bit-part player. Things, however, would still get worse.

In Week 8, the 49ers visited the St. Louis Rams, who were still playing in the Edward Jones Dome. A little less than 10 minutes into the contest, Bush was pushed of bounds following a punt return. After stumbling through the Rams’ sideline, he eventually lost his footing after the artificial turf gave way to bare concrete; the running back tore his meniscus in that slip and fall and missed the rest of the season.

Reggie Bush won a $12.5 million lawsuit against the Rams and their ‘ring of death’

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On that fateful day in St. Louis, Reggie Bush’s career changed in a matter of seconds. The injury, however, also prompted a sizable lawsuit and a protracted legal battle.

As detailed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bush initially sued the St. Louis Rams, the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, the dome’s owners and operators, for unsafely having a “concrete ring of death” dangerously close to the playing field.

While a judge eventually dismissed the latter two groups, the Rams themselves weren’t as lucky. In 2018, they were “ordered to pay Reggie Bush $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages,” according to another Post-Dispatch article.

Shortly after Bush’s injury, the concrete ring was covered up by protective rubber padding. Since then, the Rams have also moved to Los Angeles, meaning “concrete ring of death” shouldn’t be able to claim any additional victims.

All stats courtesy of Sports-Reference and Pro-Football-Reference