Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Is Doug Martin doomed for another 'downer season'?

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.

Comments
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

The West Club at Raymond James Stadium was packed on Tuesday night with 75 needy local families who thought they were getting a holiday dinner and stadium tour with Bucs players.The defensive line stepped up to give the families a much bigger surpris...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

The Bucs have promoted rookie LB Riley Bullough — a cult favorite back in August after being nicknamed "Joe Dirt" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" — to the active roster after he spent three months on the team's practice squad.Bullough, undrafted o...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

The Bucs have signed former Hillsborough High and USF linebacker Nigel Harris to their practice squad after a workout Tuesday.Harris, 23, has played for the Chargers and Giants already this season as an undrafted rookie. He had 11 tackles in five gam...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Fifteen years later, Tampa Bay's Great Sports Debate continues: Who deserves more credit for the Bucs' Super Bowl victory, Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? With the Bucs set to induct Gruden into the Ring of Honor on Monday, what do you think? Email your ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp, a former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has been accused of sexual harassment while working as an analyst with NFL Network, according to a lawsuit.NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor "pendin...
Published: 12/12/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss what impact the reported rift between Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter has going forward.
Published: 12/12/17
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

TAMPA — CB Brent Grimes picked up his third interception of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, tying him for the Bucs’ team lead and with another, more impressive group.Since the start of the 2013 season, Grimes has 20 interceptions, tying him...
Published: 12/11/17
Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

TAMPA — What we have at One Buc Place is a game of Clue. The whodunit in this case is the person(s) who put out the information that quarterback Jameis Winston’s relationship with coach Dirk Koetter is on cracked ice.Was it Winston in the weight room...
Published: 12/11/17