Doug Martin Inactive vs. Falcons Due to Rules Violation, Peyton Barber to Start

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs the ball, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was a healthy scratch for Monday's game against the Falcons because of a violation of team rules, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network added that the incident came at one meeting and was "minor." He is expected to return to the lineup for the final two games.

Peyton Barber will start at running back for the team's Week 15 game.

Martin has struggled on the field this season, rushing for 402 yards in nine games with an average of just 3.1 yards per carry. He was also suspended the first three games of the year after violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Barber has fared much better when given the opportunity. He scored two touchdowns in Week 12 after Martin went down with a concussion, and he had 143 yards from scrimmage on 27 touches in his first and only start of the season the next week. 

While Martin got the start last week when he returned to full strength, Barber finished with more carries (12 to 10) and was much more effective (58 rushing yards to 26). 

The 28-year-old Martin signed a five-year contract extension before last season that would keep him through 2020, but this is yet another issue that could cause the team to question his future in this organization.

Meanwhile, Barber, 23, gets a chance to show what he can do on the national stage of Monday Night Football.