Running back Doug Martin was reinstated to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Monday and he won’t have much time to ease himself back into the mix before the team’s next game.
Martin, who finished serving a four-game suspension handed down late last season, will have his only one real practice of the week on Tuesday as the Bucs play the Patriots on Thursday night. Given the short week, that practice isn’t likely to be a particularly intense one and that left Martin to joke that he’ll “run into the wall a couple times” to prepare himself for his first action of the 2017 season.
“I’m gonna go out there and just do the best that I can do, be as ready as I can be, just play for these guys,” Martin said, via ESPN.com. “I’m not sure [how many snaps]. I’m just going to go out there and play to the best of my ability. Whatever that is, it’s coach [Dirk Koetter’s] decision, it’s what he decides to do. I’m for it.”
Related players: Jacquizz Rodgers
Couple all of that with the fact Rodgers was pretty effective last week, and solid over the team's first three games, and Martin doesn't seem like a great fantasy option just yet.
The Bucs officially made the move on Monday when they waived tight end Alan Cross to make room for Martin’s return. Martin will be eligible to practice with the team right away and can play against the Patriots in Thursday night’s game.
Related players: Jacquizz Rodgers
The story pointed out HC Dirk Koetter said the team would need to see how Martin practices before deciding how to use Martin. Rodgers carried 16 times for 83 yards against the Giants. Martin may not have a full role his first game back, especially when you consider it's a short week.
The NFL officially postponed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Miami Dolphins tilt until Week 11.
With Hurricane Irma gaining steam as it moves toward South Florida, the league announced the matchup will be moved from Sunday to Sunday, Nov. 19. Both the Bucs and Dolphins had a bye in Week 11.
The news means that Miami and Tampa will play 16 straight games to close out the season.
Setting aside the danger of a Category 5 hurricane barreling down on Florida, the fantasy ramifications of the move to Week 11 are significant. Owners counting on any of the Bucs or Dolphins to play in Week 1 are going to have to look elsewhere. These issues show up most often in "onesie" positions like quarterback, tight end, kicker or defense, where owners oftentimes don't have other options available on the bench. Jameis Winston owners could pick up Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Carson Wentz or another quarterback with a good matchup to start Week 1. In addition, Doug Martin won't start his suspension until Week 2 and is therefore not eligible to return until Week 5. It's our opinion that owners with these types of issues who play in leagues without waivers/free agency prior to Week 1 should be allowed to make one waiver move per issue to pick up a replacement quarterback, tight end, defense or kicker. This should not be used as a way to pick up a hot running back or receiver prospect, but instead to ensure fairness in what is a very out-of-the-blue situation.
Tampa Bay has waived fifth-round rookie RB Jeremy McNichols.
This makes the depth chart clear while Doug Martin serves his 3-game suspension. Rodgers sits atop the depth chart, with Sims likely returning to his change-of-pace/passing down role he performed well in during the 2015 season, before a 2016 injury cost him most of the season. Rodgers should see the lion's share of touches until Martin returns.
Martin usually gets two first-team reps to one for Jacquizz Rodgers, who is the favorite to replace Martin as the Bucs lead back during those first three games of the season. Martin is still suspended for three games, but the Bucs have been giving him the bulk of the first-team reps.
Roy Cummings is a two-time Florida sports writer of the year. He knows what he's talking about with this team.
In 2015, Martin finished with 1,673 total yards and seven touchdowns and was the #4 fantasy running back in PPR formats. This offseason, he has seemingly returned from the dead. He was mentioned as a cut candidate early this year, but now it sounds like the team is expecting him to return to form in 2017. He's suspended for the first three games of the season, and Jacquizz Rodgers is likely to start in his place for that span. In regular redraft formats, it's an intriguing strategy for owners to draft both Martin and Rodgers to serve as RB2 by committee (in a WR-heavy strategy).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told ESPN's Dan Graziano that the Bucs are leaning toward a committee approach at running back during Doug Martin's suspension the first three games of the season.
We reported yesterday that Martin may not even get his job back once he returns. Rodgers stepped up very nicely last year when given the chance and the story said if the team names a starter, it will likely be him.
Doug Martin has three games left on a drug suspension and will serve them at the beginning of this coming season. But if the Buccaneers running back thinks he's automatically getting his starting job back once the suspension is over, he may be mistaken.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told ESPN on Saturday that Martin was looking good so far in camp and that the team is happy with the way he's handling things, but his job might not be there for him come Week 4.
"It might not," Licht said. "Look, he has done everything we've asked him to do, and he looks reminiscent of 2015 when he was playing for his contract. He looks the same out there, mentally and physically. So he might be one of those guys that needs a carrot. And he's got a pretty big carrot in front of him right now, because there's no guarantees that he's going to be here. And he knows that. We've talked to him, and he's good with it. He goes, 'I understand.'"
In 2015, Martin finished with 1,673 total yards and seven touchdowns and was the #4 fantasy running back in PPR formats. This offseason, he has seemingly returned from the dead. He was mentioned as a cut candidate early this year, but now it sounds like the team is expecting him to return to form in 2017. He's suspended for the first three games of the season, and Jacquizz Rodgers is likely to start in his place for that span. In regular redraft formats, it's an intriguing strategy for owners to draft both Martin and Rodgers to serve as RB2 by committee (in a WR-heavy strategy). At his price, Rodgers is the better bet in fantasy drafts.
With Jacquizz Rodgers re-signed early in free agency and Charles Sims returning from injury, this group is deep enough that it can easily field a full rotation of backs even while Doug Martin is out due to his suspension. It may not be until Martin's return that the overwhelming numbers lead to difficult decisions.
Martin has two Pro Bowl years in his five seasons in the league but was beset by injuries and other troubles last year. After using the first part of the year to attend to his personal issues, he has returned to the field looking as fit and ready as he did at this time in 2015 before a monster campaign. If Martin does indeed display his 2015 form, there's little question he'll be the lead back in 2017.
Related players: Jeremy McNichols
While it doesn't make for a good fantasy situation, the Bucs have other candidates for first and second-down snaps. Rodgers was very impressive in relief of both Martin and Sims last year. In addition, rookie Jeremy McNichols looks to be cut from the same cloth as Martin and could either be a lead back or a very useful third-down asset thanks to his reliable hands and well-developed pass-protection skills, the story went on to say.
Martin is suspended for the first three games of the season, but has drawn rave reviews from the Bucs coaching staff and front office, and it doesn't appear that he's lost his spot on the depth chart.
Rodgers has seen at least 12 carries in seven games over the past four years. In those games, he averaged 97 total yards and 0.57 TD on 22.2 touches (4.25 YPC). Due to his size (5-7, 190 lbs), Rodgers is not considered an every-down back, but he’s certainly capable of carrying the load when called upon. Still only 27, Rodgers should have plenty of tread left on his tires. His value is tied to Doug Martin's status as the team's starter.
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.
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