Koetter: Doug Martin will be game-day decision Sunday
Bucs running back Doug Martin has made progress all week in his first practices in nearly two months, but has not been cleared to play due to his hamstring injury and will be a game-day decision Sunday, coach Dirk Koetter said.
Martin has improved each day, Koetter said, and could be cleared to play in the next 48 hours, but the team has been cautious in his return from an injury suffered back in Week 2. The Bucs are still down four running backs due to injuries, so they'll likely lean on rookie Peyton Barber and veteran Mike James on Sunday.
In other injury updates, the Bucs had Evan Smith working as the team's starting center, and Koetter said Joe Hawley continues to be limited by his knee injury and will also be evaluated in the next 48 hours before kickoff. If Hawley isn't active and Smith steps in at center, the Bucs would have a newcomer at left guard, likely rookie Caleb Benenoch, who has been inactive for all eight games this season and would be making his NFL debut.
WR Russell Shepard did not practice and hasn't in two weeks, so he'll miss his second straight game with a hip injury on Sunday. DT Clinton McDonald is likely to return after missing four games with a hamstring injury, having been elevated to full participation for the first time Thursday.
A final injury report will be released later Friday afternoon.