Doug Martin Injury: Updates on Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB's Head
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out firsthand just how nerve-wracking the preseason can be. Star running back Doug Martin left the team's second preseason game against the New England Patriots with a head injury.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports reports that Martin was injured when he took a knee to the helmet while attempting to cut-block a pass-rusher:
Looked like Doug Martin took a knee to the helmet when trying to cut a rusher while blocking.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 17, 2013
Martin will be active when the Buccaneers open the season against the Jets.
UPDATE: Sunday, Aug. 25
From Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune:
Hearing now that neither RB Doug Martin nor CB Darrelle Revis will play for the Bucs tonight. Makes sense both ways if you ask me— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) August 24, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 23
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times has the latest on Martin:
Though Bucs RB Doug Martin said he doesn't need to play Saturday against the Dolphins in order to be ready for the regular season, he wouldn't mind taking a few snaps.
"It's up to the coaches," he said.
Martin has just three carries in two preseason games and left last week's 25-21 loss to the Patriots after taking a shot to the head during pass protection. Martin said his concussion tests were negative and he is 100 percent healthy and has practiced all week. However, Martin said he'd understand if the coaches hold him out as a precaution.
"I'm not sure what we're going to do with Doug right now," coach Greg Schiano said Thursday.
UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 19
From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
WR Tiquan Underwood returned to practice today but CB Danny Gorrer did not. Doug Martin practiced, but without contact just to be cautious.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 19, 2013
RB Doug Martin says he feels fine and is ready to play on Saturday.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 19, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 17
From ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Bucs HC Greg Sciano on RB Doug Martin: "Doug is going to be fine. He got hit in the head, but he cleared really quickly."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 17, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 16
From Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times:
Doug martin says he did not sustain a concussion on hit in first quarter— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 17, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 16
From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Twitter account:
RB Doug Martin took a knee to the helmet early in the game and was evaluated, but he wasn't going to play much longer either way.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 17, 2013
From a purely visual perspective, it didn't look good:
Doug Martin heading back to the locker room now. Again: looked like knee to his helmet while blocking. Not good.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 17, 2013
While nothing is official yet, losing Martin for any period of time in the regular season is a scary proposition for the Bucs. The running back emerged as the team's best offensive weapon last season with 1,454 yards and 12 total touchdowns in his rookie season out of Boise State.
He also tacked on 472 yards on 49 receptions in the passing game.
The Buccaneers figure to rely heavily on Martin again in 2013. Current backup options at the position include Brian Leonard, Mike James and Peyton Hillis.
Leonard has just 646 career rushing yards in six NFL seasons, James was the team's sixth-round selection in the 2013 draft and Hillis averaged just 3.6 yards per carry as the backup for the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
Obviously, head injuries can be difficult to come back from and could have long-lasting effects, so the Buccaneers will have to use extreme caution when bringing Martin back into the fold.
Be sure to check this page for the latest updates on his status.
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