Seeing any starter’s name pop up on a weekly injury report is never a good thing. When it’s a running back and the label “Knee/Quad” is attached, concern ratchets up further.
That was the case yesterday with Doug Martin, who sat out the entirety of Thursday’s practice after getting dinged up Wednesday afternoon.
But according to Martin, Bucs fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief heading into Sunday’s NFC South contest against Carolina.
“I feel good,” the fourth-year back said of his knee Friday after practice. “I nicked it. It’s just one of those things that a full day will probably be the best for it. I practiced today. I nicked it early in practice [yesterday] and then practiced the rest of the day, so it’s fine. I’ll be perfect for the game.”
Tampa Bay’s hoping for a bounce-back performance on the ground after last week’s output of 57 yards on 20 carries. Martin accounted for 46 of those on 14 touches, followed by Charles Sims with 11 on six.
Through three games Martin has compiled 176 yards on 46 attempts (3.8-yard average) and has yet to find the end zone. Despite the Bucs’ claimed desires to be a run-first offense, the team is averaging only 96.0 yards a game. Tampa Bay picked up 92 total rushing yards Week 1 against Tennessee, but the early blowout limited its ability to commit to the run.
Getting back on track Sunday against Carolina is the goal and a healthy Doug Martin gives the Bucs their best opportunity to do so.
“We’ll get there,” Martin said. “We were going up against a strong defense against Houston and we’re going to get back to it, running well and executing our offense better as a whole. This will be the game to show that.”