The severe hamstring injury that has defined Doug Martin‘s season to this point won’t restrict the Buccaneers’ top running back from playing in Week 10 against the Bears. Martin will suit up for Sunday’s game, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Martin has not ventured to IR this season despite missing eight weeks, but his absence and his backfield mates’ subsequent maladies have restricted the Bucs. The 27-year-old ball-carrier isn’t a lock to start, but he should be considered ready to assume some of his previous duties.
Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers are out for Sunday, with the former being a candidate to return from IR. Rodgers is without a return timetable after suffering a foot injury, one that sent the Bucs’ fourth and fifth backfield options, Peyton Barber and Antone Smith, into action. Smith is out for the season after playing in just three games with the team.
The recently re-signed Martin hasn’t played since Week 2 but is obviously coming off a full-season performance that did enough to earn him a five-year, $35.7MM extension to stay in Tampa Bay. Martin gained 1,673 yards from scrimmage and scored seven touchdowns last season, bouncing back from two down campaigns — both marred by injuries — to earn that long-term security.
Tampa Bay’s managed to remain a middling rushing attack without its top threat, ranking 16th at 108.0 yards per game, but the team sits 3-5 and has already lost Vincent Jackson as another key offensive option.
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