Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs fans wanting to know the severity of injuries suffered Sunday in Arizona will have to wait a little longer.
Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke with the media Monday afternoon and said further tests and evaluations to players like Doug Martin (hamstring) and Robert Ayers Jr. (ankle) aren’t yet complete.
“As we sit here today, a lot of times what they want to do is they MRI some of those things on Tuesdays,” Koetter said. “So we’re not really going to know the total extent of those injuries until later tomorrow, but we did get beat up a little bit.”
Martin and Ayers both exited Sunday’s 40-7 loss before halftime and they were joined in the trainer’s room by tight end Luke Stocker (ankle) and Cecil Shorts III (hamstring).
Martin downplayed the severity of his hamstring injury after the game. Koetter said he couldn’t speculate on the assessment, but said it’s difficult to tell on tape that Martin hurt himself on the early second-quarter play.
“Well, I’m not a doctor, but when you see it on the film, he did it on a cut,” Koetter said. “It was a pitch play to our right and when Doug planted he said that’s when he did it. You can’t even hardly tell on tape, so I’m just not sure about that. We’ll be getting a more updated report tomorrow.”
Martin had rushed for 23 yards on seven carries, including a 12-yarder on the team’s third play from scrimmage. His primary replacement, Charles Sims III, couldn’t get much going when given the opportunity. Sims rushed nine times for 24 yards, picked up only four yards on three receptions and played a role in two of Tampa Bay’s five interceptions.
The Bucs’ leading rusher ended up being Jacquizz Rodgers. After being signed last Tuesday, the shifty 5-foot-6 back took two carries for 29 yards.
Koetter expressed his faith and confidence in Sims stepping up if necessary, but losing Martin for any game action will have its effects.
“Of course, because Doug’s one of the top running backs in the league,” the coach said. “Even though we feel like we have really good backups at that position in Charles Sims and Jacquizz. Jacquizz Rodgers came in and did a good job for only being here a week, but when you take a top level player out you usually don’t have exactly the same caliber player behind him. Even though we’re really high on Charles Sims.
“But yeah, it definitely hurts you, but that’s the NFL. You’re only healthy for one week and then you’re hoping that you are fortunate enough to stay healthy the rest of the year. We didn’t have good fortune in that department yesterday but this will be a new week.”
Rodgers, 26, played under Koetter in Atlanta when the coach was serving as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. Koetter said his style is more similar to Martin’s than Sims, but that Sims is ready to be a feature back.
“Yes he could,” Koetter said. “He’s a little bit different style. He’s not going to break as many tackles as Doug is. He’s a little more elusive on the outside, a little better in the screen game. Really, the guy who resembles Doug’s style is Jacquizz. I think I mentioned this to you folks last week, Jacquizz was our No. 2 guy in Atlanta behind Michael Turner and later Stephen Jackson. If Doug is out we still have two good guys behind him, so we’ll be fine.”
An added blow to the rushing attack is potentially losing a capable blocker in Stocker, Koetter said.
“Yes, because Luke is a role player who plays his role very well,” the coach said. “He’s our main point of attack blocker. When Luke went out, the other three tight ends that went in the game kind of split up the work load in that area. But those guys have different skill sets than Luke, so Luke is a valuable player and he’s another guy who we’ll know more about tomorrow where we stand with him.”
LOL. If jogruden was still lurking around he would be doing back flips over Kotter’s statement about Stocker.
I saw Martin tweek his hamstring as soon as he did it and knew he tried to cut to hard to get into the hole.
The bad thing is all the injuries coming when we are playing a beatable Rams team.
The good thing is none of them appears to be season ending.
When we see how Ayers and Martin turn out we will know. If Martin or Ayers are out for a prolonged time, we are going to have some difficulty. Martin is crucial for us to take pressure off Winston. We need Ayers to put pressure on opposing QB’s or they will pick us apart.
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