Doug Martin Suspended for Drug Policy Violation: Latest Details and Comments

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  carries the ball while being pursued by Denzel Perryman #52 of the San Diego Chargers in the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 4, 2016 in San Diego, California. The Buccaneers defeated the Chargers 28-21.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The NFL suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin four games Wednesday after he failed a drug test, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided a breakdown of the violation:

Martin explained in a statement on the team's official site that he will not appeal and will enter a treatment facility. In addition to apologizing to the organization and its fans, the running back added:

On the field, I must be strong and determined to push through both pain and injuries to become an elite NFL running back. Off the field, I have tried that same approach in my personal life. My shortcomings in this area have taught me both that I cannot win these personal battles alone and that there is no shame in asking for help. 

"Nobody knew," Buccaneers offensive lineman Evan Smith said Thursday, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. "Nobody is mad at Doug. We don't want anybody to fall on hard times, and if they do, that's kind of a big part of the locker room -- we're a big brotherhood and we all pick each other up."

"It definitely came as a surprise," wide receiver Russell Shepard said, per Laine. "[It's been] very, very hard. It's an unfortunate situation. We just wish him well, [to] get himself together -- whatever he needs, just to take his time. We love Doug. [He's] a great person, a great teammate. We just wish him the best and hope everything works out for the better."

The 27-year-old was a healthy scratch for Week 16 and finishes the 2016 season with 421 rushing yards and three touchdowns in eight games.

Per Roy Cummings of FanRag Sports, it was a "football decision" that kept Martin out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Martin signed a five-year extension with the Buccaneers in the offseason with $15 million guaranteed. However, Schefter reported this violation "voids guaranteed money on his $7 million base salary next year."

Jacquizz Rodgers should once again be the go-to option in the Tampa Bay backfield with the starter unavailable. This season, the 26-year-old has 485 rushing yards and two touchdowns in nine games and has had better efficiency (4.3 yards per carry) than Martin (2.9 YPC).

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