Bucs running game gets boost with return of Doug Martin

Doug Martin is again and keen to assist the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enhance on their greatest begin since 2011.

The 2-time Professional Bowl operating again was activated Monday after finishing a 4-recreation suspension for violating the NFL’s coverage on efficiency enhancers and expects to play towards the New England Patriots on Thursday night time.

“I can not wait to get on the market and play for these guys. It has been some time,” the sixth-yr professional stated. “It was an extended break, and I can not wait to get on the market and play.”

Martin, 28, hasn’t performed in a daily-season recreation since final Dec. 18 at Dallas. He was a wholesome scratch the next week at New Orleans earlier than the Bucs introduced he’d additionally sit out the membership’s season finale towards Carolina to start a suspension that might additionally sideline him for the primary three video games this yr.

Tampa Bay initially anticipated to get Martin again for final Sunday’s house recreation towards the New York Giants. The anticipated return was delayed every week when Hurricane Irma pressured postponement of the group’s scheduled season opener.

“Sadly, Irma prolonged the layoff,” Martin stated, including that he spent the previous month working and spending time with household in California.

In Martin’s absence, the Bucs (2-1) are off to their greatest begin since profitable three of 4 video games to start the 2011 season. They presently rank twenty sixth within the NFL in dashing (eighty four.7 yards per recreation).

The 2-time 1,000-yard rusher stated he feels good bodily and is assured he can contribute instantly, although Tampa Bay will solely have one full follow earlier than internet hosting the Patriots on Thursday night time.

“I am simply going to go on the market and play to the most effective of my means,” Martin stated, including he wasn’t positive how coach Dirk Koetter plans to make use of him this week. “No matter that’s, regardless of the coaches determine to do, I am for it.”

Martin was the second-main rusher within the league and an All-Professional two years in the past, when he ran for 1,402 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Accidents and the season-ending suspension restricted him to eight video games in 2016, when he averaged simply 2.9 yards per carry whereas gaining 421 yards and scoring three TDs.

“I really feel nice. I had a superb plan over there in California,” Martin stated. “The blokes I used to be understanding with undoubtedly helped me out, and I consider I am able to go.”

Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for a season-greatest eighty three yards on sixteen makes an attempt in Sunday’s 25-23 victory over the New York Giants.

Afterward, Jameis Winston raved about how the backup has crammed in for Martin, whereas additionally making it clear he is enthusiastic about Martin’s impending return.

“I have been texting him after the video games simply to inform him: `Hey, another. You will be again this week,'” the quarterback stated. “I am simply going to be comfortable to see No. 22 operating across the facility (once more).”

Martin, who was allowed to apply throughout coaching camp and play in preseason video games, appreciates the help he is acquired from teammates and the teaching employees.

“I am very grateful … them sticking by my aspect,” the operating again stated. “I simply…

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