Boom Or Bust: Doug MartinAugust 22nd, 2014
Right now the Bucs are starting to look like a waiting room at a hospital emergency room with all their injuries. And the team hasn’t even played its third preseason game.
Just in the backfield is scary enough. Charles Sims is out at least 12 weeks after ankle surgery. Mike James has a bum shoulder and won’t play tomorrow night. That’s two key players the Bucs had high hopes for in the running game (and passing game for Sims).
Way back at the combine, Bucs coach Lovie Smith stated Doug Martin, himself coming back from shoulder surgery, would be his bellcow. If these injuries to Bucs running backs continue, Martin will have to be.
Perhaps for that reason alone, Mike Clay of BSPN believes this is a boom or bust year for the man affectionately known as the “Muscle Hamster.”
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Entering the 2013 season, Martin had the look of a safe first-round investment. The year before, he had racked up nearly 2,000 total yards and 12 touchdowns en route to finishing his rookie campaign third among backs in fantasy points. Instead, he struggled to one score and 3.6 yards per attempt on 139 touches before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury.
With Lovie Smith and Jeff Tedford now in control of the Tampa Bay offense, Martin is no longer assured a workhorse role. Charles Sims was selected in the third round this spring, and will be a threat for touches — especially on passing downs — once he returns from ankle surgery. Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Jeff Demps will be in the mix right out of the gate. Martin is only 25 and has shown flashes of elite production, but his pre-injury struggles of 2013 and uncertain workload are legitimate concerns.
Well, Joe’s not sure “uncertain workload” means the guy is going to be a bust. That’s a pretty big reach. Marcus Allen had an “uncertain workload” with the Raiders. He sure as hell wasn’t a bust.
There are all kinds of running backs who share the rock with other talented backs and they are not busts. Joe cannot see how shared workload equals bust here.
Still, the Bucs, even more so, need the 2012 Martin who tore up defenses, rather than the 2013 Martin who was pretty much a non-factor.