In a move that seemed inevitable, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially placed running back Doug Martin on injured reserve.
At 0-8 not much has gone right in Tampa Bay this season, but losing their star second year running back certainly did not help things. Doug Martin was a breakout star as a rookie a year ago, and was expected to continue his ascension to the elite ranks of NFL rushers before this injury derailed his season.
In his wake, rookie running back Mike James has seen the lion’s share of the carries. A breakout game last week against the Seattle Seahawks gives Buccaneers fans a reason to believe that the rushing attack will be just fine in the wake of Doug Martin being placed on IR.
Against the Seahawks, Tampa Bay ran all over the stout Seattle front. Receiving an almost unbelievable by today’s standard 28 carries, James gained 158 yards and even added a passing touchdown.
During his rookie season Doug Martin earned a spot on the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster with 1,454 yards rushing and an impressive eleven touchdowns. He will finish his sophomore campaign with a less impressive 456 yards and just one touchdown.
Now that Doug Martin is gone, the Buccaneers look nothing like the team fans expected to see in 2013. Gone is former starting quarterback Josh Freeman whose feud with coach Greg Schiano caused his release.
The torn shoulder labrum that Doug Martin suffered was rumored to be season ending from the start, however Schiano continued to hint that his star back could be returning as soon as this Sunday.
The announcement that Doug Martin is done for the season is just one more player who is done for the year. So far the Buccaneers have placed ten players on the season ending IR.
On Monday Night Football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stand perhaps their best chance at scoring their first victory of the year when they take on the Miami Dolphins.