After his 1,402-yard season in 2015, Doug Martin appeared to be in good standing with the Buccaneers. He signed a five-year, $35.75 million deal in March, effectively keeping him in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future. However, after his recent struggles, his roster spot may not be as guaranteed as it once seemed.
Martin was a healthy scratch in the Buccaneers’ Week 16 game against the Saints – the first time in his career he was benched. He called it a coach’s decision with Dirk Koetter saying Jacquizz Rodgers was a better fit for the game.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Martin will be inactive once again in Week 17. In turn, the Buccaneers plan to sign Russell Hansborough from the practice squad to fill his spot on the game-day roster.
Martin has undoubtedly struggled mightily this season, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. That’s down from 4.9 a year ago, and it’s a big reason for Koetter’s decision to bench him. If he continues to struggle into 2017, his future with the team could certainly be in limbo. After next season, the Buccaneers won’t incur any dead money by parting ways with Martin.
Two days after Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was made a healthy scratch against the New Orleans Saints before a game that would essentially decide whether they would reach the playoffs, coach Dirk Koetter stood by his decision and his previous defense of Martin.
He wouldn't say what it means going forward, though.
"As I said last week, we made a decision for the Saints game based on what I thought was best for our team that week, and we'll do the same thing this week," Koetter said. "We'll make the decision, not just at running back, but at every position."
Related players: Jacquizz Rodgers
The past several weeks, Koetter had been peppered with questions about Martin's performances. He defended Martin, saying that he had been "running hard," that "we need to play better around him" and "there's nothing wrong with Doug Martin." Jacquizz Rodgers led Tampa Bay with 63 yards and 1 touchdown on 15 carries against the Saints. The story said Peyton Barber is on all four special teams, Charles Sims was on some special teams and was a backup on all special teams.
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 7:21pm
Sims, the team's third-down running back, had been on IR since Oct. 10, after injuring his knee against the Denver Broncos. He officially returned to practice prior to the Week 11 game, with his 21-day practice period concluding this week.
Before the injury, Sims had seen action in four games this season (starting two), rushing 41 times for 116 yards and a touchdown. A viable contributor in the short-passing game, Sims also caught 14 passes for 112 yards and a receiving TD.
QB Ryan Griffin
S Chris Conte
OL Josh Allen
C Evan Smith
OL Leonard Wester
DT John Hughes
DL Davonte Lambert
Related players: Jacquizz Rodgers
With Doug Martin back as the starter, Rogers likely sees backup snaps against the Bolts in Week 13.
Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:13pm
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot, questionable) took full practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 13. He’ll likely back up Doug Martin this week. Charles Sims may be able to return next week.
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 6:10pm
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) took full practice reps again Thursday. The Bucs waived Mike James which means that it’s likely Rodgers makes his return this week. He’ll likely back up Doug Martin this week. Charles Sims may be able to return next week.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 6:36pm
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) practiced fully Wednesday. The Bucs waived Mike James which means that it’s likely Rodgers makes his return this week. He’ll likely back up Doug Martin this week. Charles Sims may be able to return next week.
Sunday, November 27, 2016, 2:51pm
Friday, November 25, 2016, 6:43pm
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 12. Rodgers is reportedly targeting a Week 13 return.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:58pm
The Bucs continue to get key players back from injury, and RB Jacquizz Rodgers, out three games with a foot injury, could be next. Coach Dirk Koetter said Rodgers could return to practice when the Bucs resume drills Wednesday.
"We'll see what Wednesday brings. I glanced outside, and Jacquizz was out working on the field with trainers. We'll see," said Koetter, who said the topic of Rodgers' return came up as GM Jason Licht got a medical update Monday morning.
Related players: Doug Martin
The Bucs have had starting RB Doug Martin back for the past two games after he missed six with a hamstring injury, but Rodgers had two 100-yard games filling in for Martin and would add depth to the Bucs' running attack. Charles Sims, on injured reserve for the past six weeks with a knee injury, can return to practice this week, though he's not eligible to play until Week 14, after two more games.
Friday, November 18, 2016, 6:41pm
Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:12pm
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 6:11pm
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