Decision on RB Martin looming, team leaning toward IR.
The Bucs will make a decision on whether running back Doug Martin will play again this season prior to Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
Indications are the Bucs are leaning toward placing Martin on season-ending injured reserve and scheduling surgery to have the torn labrum his left shoulder repaired within the next few weeks rather than risk further injury to their Pro Bowl tailback with the team off to an 0-8 start.
While no final decision was announced Thursday, Martin did not practice and has not played since injuring his left shoulder trying to make a catch in a 31-23 loss at Atlanta Oct. 20.
“You know I think it's really just going to be a medical decision,’’ Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Thursday. “At what point do you say Monday is out of the question? We'll see. And if it is, I think it's going to be all or nothing. It's got to be a decision we've got to make. Everyone collectively has got to make a decision and we've got to go with it. When we make it, I'll let you guys know and we'll move forward with it.’’
Schiano, general manager Mark Dominik, Martin and the Bucs’ medical staff were expected to meet about the matter later Thursday.
“It’ll be my first surgery,’ Martin said. “There will be some butterflies there at first, but that’s what is needed to continue to my career and it’s something I’ve got to do.”
Martin has responded well to treatment and regained some strength and mobility in his shoulder. Perhaps making the decision easier is the fact that rookie running back Mike James rushed for 158 yards on 28 carries and passed for a touchdown in a 27-24 overtime loss at Seattle Sunday.
Martin led all rookies last season by rushing for 1.454 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. In six games this season, he had 456 yards and one TD.