Doug Martin glad to be back, but cautious in return to Bucs
Doug Martin said he took an important step by returning to practice on a limited basis but still is not certain whether he will be running the football Sunday against the Bears.
"I feel good. I feel good. I was practicing yesterday and I’m getting there," Martin said Thursday. "I’m getting to that point and it’s kind of frustrating but I’m just going to take all the proper steps and we have to take the proper steps to get me back on the field."
The Bucs have been without the NFL’s No. 2 rusher from last season since their loss to Arizona Sept. 18. The appearance of Martin at practice for the second day Thursday could be good news for the Bucs, who still are without running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who suffered a sprained foot in the loss to Oakland last Thursday. Running back Antone Smith was placed on injured reserve with a severe knee injury following the loss to the Raiders.
"It’s been real frustrating," Martin said of the injuries to Bucs running backs. "We’ve had guys step up. (Antone) and a lot of guys step up and seeing guys go down, it’s hard to see. You want to get in there."
Martin was limited to individual drills on Wednesday. The Bucs want to be cautious after the setback he suffered working out Oct. 9.
"It was real devastating," Martin said of the setback. "I thought I was ready to go and kind of pushed it, probably pushed it a little too hard and got the setback. So I want to make sure right now I’m taking the proper steps. That’s why it’s taking so long. We’re going to make sure I take all the proper steps to make sure I’m fully healthy so I don’t have another setback. That’s what’s been going on."
Martin rushed for the 1,402 yards and six touchdowns last season. He signed a five-year, $35.75-million contract as a free agent in the off-season.
"It felt real good to get back on the field in general," Martin said. "To put on the pads. We had pads on yesterday, so it was good to put on the pads again and be out there with my brothers and get out there and do the running back drills and I felt pretty good doing them."