With Martin out, Bobby Rainey should see a big workload in a great matchup. He is still available on the wire in some leagues. Some around the NFL believe Rainey will keep the starting job even after Martin returns.
Bobby Rainey becomes a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 if Martin is out. If Martin is active, Rainey is still startable as a RB2/flex, but the situation is far murkier if Martin is playing tonight.
Buccaneers beat writer Rick Stroud was asked about RB Doug Martin's status for tonight's game against the Falcons: "I think Martin is active but may not start. Probably go with the hot hand on (Bobby Rainey)."
It sounds as if Stroud is speculating, not reporting as fact. Martin (and Rainey) owners should be aware that the situation is murky right now. Expect both backs to get touches, possibly forming a full-blown committee.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee, questionable) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Martin apparently practiced with the first team ahead of Bobby Rainey, so it looks like he’ll get the start. HC Lovie Smith said that he wants to use two (or three) backs, so Martin’s workload may be somewhat limited this week if Rainey comes in and plays well.
There were no definitive answers from the coaching staff this week.
“We want to play more than one running back, two, maybe three,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. “That’s why we’ve had three (active) every time we could. That’s just making our running back position stronger.’’
Smith’s not dancing around. He’s serious about playing two or three running backs. He’s been saying that since he arrived, but it hasn’t happened the way Smith wants yet.
This doesn't do much to answer the question at hand. Rainey's impressive game may be enough to earn him the start over Martin, who is back at practice. Neither player is a strong start this week given the murkiness of the situation.
Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:30pm
Lions RB Reggie Bush (knee, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 2. Bush should be good to go for a tough matchup with the Panthers. They were very stingy against the run in 2013 and shut down both Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey in Week 1.
Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:30pm
Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 2. Martin should be able to play through the knee injury, but he’s a shaky start given the Bucs inability to run the ball against the Panthers.
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:24pm
Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 7:02pm
Bucs coach Lovie Smith has called Doug Martin his bell cow back.
But with the game on the line Sunday, the Bucs with the ball and driving for the winning score, it was Bobby Rainey on the field.
Yes, Martin had his knee dinged up earlier, but Lovie Smith insisted last night that Martin was healthy in the fourth quarter and Rainey was a tactical choice.
“Doug did go down with a little minor injury there, so we had to make a change, and from there he was able to come back and he was ready to go,” Lovie said on Total Access on WDAE-AM 620. “Bobby had come and had given us a little bit of life, and as I’ve mentioned we want to play more than one running back throughout. So it was just a perfect time to keep both of them involved.”
Martin was seen going to the locker room but did return. There were various reports that it was a shoulder injury and others said his leg was wrapped, but so far owners don't have a lot to go on. It wasn't an impressive start for Martin in a tough matchup against the Panthers, he led the team in carries with nine but only totaled nine rushing yards. He had one catch for seven yards. It's a situation worth monitoring as Martin's status with the team and Smith has been a bit of a roller coaster.
Bucs RB Doug Martin had lower left leg wrapped, said someone rolled on his leg. Said wait and see on severity.
Bobby Rainey and Mike James are, of course, next in line. Martin can't seem to stay on the field and only had nine carries for nine yards when he was in action, but it was a tough matchup against the Panthers, too. We'll continue to keep you updated as we hear more. Tampa hosts the Rams in a late afternoon game in Week 2.
The Patriots have agreed to the parameters of a trade that would send Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick and tight end Tim Wright. FOX Sports' Jay Glazer first reported the news.
"We were looking at all options," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman. "It's something we've been talking about since first week of camp. We feel very fortunate. Logan is a very good player. I'm a first-hand witness to what he means to the locker room."
Licht worked in the Pats' front office from 2009-11, and director of player personnel Jon Robinson was with the Pats from 2002-13.
Mankins, the Patriots' 2005 first-round pick has started at least 15 games in seven of his nine NFL seasons, and he fills an obvious need on a Buccaneers' offensive line that has looked overmatched for much of the preseason. On Monday, the Bucs visited with former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, but he left without signing a contract.
The raises the stock of Bucs RB Doug Martin a bit as the Tampa has been looking to improve their struggling line and this will help. As the story points out, the Pats have a history of knowing when to get rid of an aging player and still get value. Mankins is a Pro Bowler and considered a top-20 guard.
"He's a key guy," Buccaneers HC Lovie Smith said of RB Doug Martin, adding that backup Bobby Rainey also figures prominently in the team's plans as it prepare for the Sept. 7 regular season opener against Carolina.
"With Mike James going down with an injury and with (Charles Sims) going down, those guys need to play at a certain level," the coach added. "They're both good players, but Doug is our bell cow. He likes that role. He's had a good camp, hasn't missed a beat."
"A tough runner, doesn't complain," Smith said. "He's going to rush for a lot of yards for us this year."
Martin was the #3 fantasy running back as a rookie, but his PPG dropped from #3 to #22 during his sophomore season. His stock has taken a hit due to the new regime in Tampa adding rookie Charles Sims to a stacked backfield that already includes Bobby Rainey and Mike James. He’s still going to be the RB1 for the Bucs but probably won’t see the 79.5% share of the carries that he received in his first 21 games. He’s still likely to be a high-end RB2 in both standard and PPR formats. The Sims injury certainly helps Martin's outlook.
It’s easy to forget that Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin caught 49 passes as a rookie in 2012. It’s so easy that even the new coaching staff and front office came in not counting on Martin as a pass catcher.
“In the offseason, that was an area that we talked about,’’ coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “We went into the draft because we thought that was an area where we thought we needed a little bit of help.’’
The Bucs used a third-round pick to draft Charles Sims, who caught more than 200 passes in his college career. But Sims isn’t going to be contributing right away. He suffered an ankle injury last week that’s going to keep him out for 12 to 14 weeks.
Along the way, though, the Bucs might have found a running back they’re comfortable with as a pass catcher. That’s Martin.
Smith admitted Martin’s pass-catching game has been better than expected. You'll find a lot of different opinions of Martin on draft day most likely, with not a lot of in between - there are those who love him and those who are scared to death to draft him. His third round ADP still makes him a pretty attractive back at that point in drafts, and we have him ranked 13th on our PPR list. We think he loses some work to Bobby Rainey and Mike James, but still ending up as a RB2.
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