This isn't the start Doug Martin needed.
Nor the Martin start the Bucs needed.
The Pro Bowl running back will miss about three weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury, the NFL Network reported Wednesday.
About three weeks.
You never know when it comes to hamstrings.
Or when it comes to signing running backs to five-year, $35-million contracts.
And it's not as if the Bucs were running the ball with Martin in the preseason or regular-season opener over Atlanta. And who had time to run inside that deep hole at Arizona.
But he was going to be a key to this season to help keep the pressure off Jameis Winston. (By the way, someone wake Vincent Jackson up and tell him he's supposed to help take the pressure off Mike Evans.)
This is just what Martin didn't need. A slow start. A possible lingering injury.
He has fought back from injuries before, and from the edge of the cliff as well. In his contract year last season, Martin was voted into the Pro Bowl and was second in the NFL in rushing with 1,402 yards. Adrian Peterson was the only guy with more. By the way, Peterson was injured the other night.
I could file this under why you never sign running backs to longish deals. Not that Martin's new contract is insane. It's actually reasonable by NFL standards. But runners get hurt. Runners get hit. Martin has been injured before.
This hammy deal shouldn't be major, but do we ever really know? Is this the start of one of those seasons, the kind that never gets on track. I'm talking about Martin, but give it a few weeks and I could be talking about the Bucs. Nothing against Charles Sims, who played well last season as the change-o'-pace guy. Nothing against Sims' back-ups, either.
What are their names again?
Doug Martin was back in full last season. Now he's out.
Is this going to be one of those downer seasons, like 2013, when he missed all those games?
Tough racket, running back.
It just got tough and uphill all over again for Doug Martin. And the Bucs.