Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey are two young running backs learning firsthand how quickly perceptions can change in the NFL.

For Martin, his breakout rookie year of 2012 may seem like a lifetime ago. A season-ending injury after six games in 2013 and another physical ailment slowing him down this year suddenly turns that 1,454-yard, 11-touchdown season into a distant memory.

“It’s a business of, ‘what have you done for me lately?’ ” Martin said Thursday afternoon. “I just want to go out there and prove that I’m that same back I was my rookie year.”

He’ll likely get his chance Sunday in Pittsburgh. After exiting the season opener early and missing the past two contests with an unspecified knee injury, Martin’s back to participating in full at practice.

“The knee’s coming along just fine,” he said. “Full go in practice and I expect to play in this upcoming game.”

Barring any setbacks, Martin will rejoin Bobby Rainey in the backfield in Pittsburgh – Tampa Bay’s other primary runner working to get past some issues of his own.

Also in his third NFL season, Rainey’s battling a bout of fumble-itis that’s overshadowed an otherwise productive start. After putting just a single ball on the ground during his own breakout season last year, one where he took 137 carries and caught 11 more passes, Rainey’s let three get away in as many games this year.

Ball security’s never been an issue in the past, Rainey said, but it doesn’t take long for bad habits to take hold.

“That isn’t something that I usually do,” he said. “So I put more emphasis on it, even in walk-throughs or if I’m just sitting down I’ve got [a ball] – basically getting my confidence back. But right now I know I’m the target and I’ve got to get the target off me.

“It’s easy to go from [doing well] to going down real quick. Real quick.”

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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stone1
stone1
6 years ago

martin 13% + totally rushing yards in one game, take that game out and he is downright dreadful, any way this new website gets a f also, on the front page you see the headline on the bottom but the boxes to switch is on top, on my computer you cant see the headline and the switcher at the same time also the links to other bucs news is gone

surferdudes
surferdudes
6 years ago

These guys should get some passes with Glennon playing. One thing we know about Mike is he’s quick to check down to his backs.

scubog
scubog
6 years ago

Now that the offensive line is getting somewhat settled, at least Doug has a fighting chance. But we all know that if Glennon continues his reluctance to throw the ball past five yards, the defenders will just sit on the line of scrimmage. We can’t complete three passes and it still be 4th and 2.

surferdudes
surferdudes
6 years ago

Well Scu, 4th and 2 is better then 4th and 12, or an interception!! LOL!

Buctebow
Buctebow
6 years ago

…or he can get sacked three times and it will be 4th and 28. He has not learned how to get out of the box and throw it away, which is better than an INT, but that is a small solace.