Good news for the Tampa Bay Bucs: RB Doug Martin was finally able to return to practice today.
Martin has been out for a while and wasnâ€™t spotted at practice earlier this week. That sparked some concern that heâ€™d be out even longer than anticipated. It now looks like he may be able to return to the field by this weekend, depending on how things go. In fact, James Yarcho even reported that the team is optimistic that heâ€™ll be back for the game against the Bears, writing that:
â€śItâ€™s been a lot longer than many people thought it would be, but it looks as though the long awaited return of Doug Martin has finally come. After the Buccaneers have been through four starting running backs this season, now the NFLâ€™s second leading rusher from 2015 will look to provide a boost to a struggling offense short on weapons.â€ť
Martin is coming off of a prolific season last year. He was great as a rookie, had two down years â€“ with injuries â€“ and then blew up in 2016. That got him his new contract, but then the hamstring sidelined him and he had a setback that made it take even longer than initially reported.
Head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about the return this week in an interview and he said:
â€śAs far as the Doug Martin thing, you know Doug had a hamstring and these hamstrings are just delicate. He was almost back, he was 90+ percent back, and he was doing his rehab run one day and and he tweaked it again. They kinda had to go back and start over. Back to the drawing board. Weâ€™re hopeful that after these three days off that maybe he has a shot at Chicago next week.â€ť