Doug Martin Torn Labrum Likely To End Season
By Allen Kim
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bid for their first win of the season is about to get a lot tougher. A source for Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports revealed that Doug Martin has suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder, and he’s expected to miss the rest of the season.
Martin immediately went down in pain after taking a hit to the right side from Atlanta Falcons SS William Moore in the third quarter on a pass play near the end zone. He was knocked out of bounds, and it was immediately apparent that he was dealing with something far more serious than a mere stinger.
There were high hopes for Martin after he ran for 1,454 yards, caught 49 receptions for 472 yards and had 12 total touchdowns in his rookie season. However, he has been mired in a slump all season long, and the injury only compounds things for what has been a rough season for Martin and the Buccaneers. He’ll finish his sophomore campaign with 456 rushing yards, 66 receiving yards and one rushing touchdown.
Mike James, a sixth-round rookie, took Martin’s place in the lineup, and he’s expected to take over as the team’s starting running back moving forward. They’ll need the rookie to step up in Martin’s absence as they fight to break their losing streak.
Update: Coach Greg Schiano says that Martin's injury will not end his season.
"It’ll probably be a stretch for this Thursday; we’ll have to just see," said Schiano. "I wouldn’t go any further than that right now; [we've] just got to wait and see. If it was season-ending, I’d let you know, but I don’t feel that it is right now. We don’t feel that it is, our medical team. We’re just going to play it by ear and go from there.”
However, even if he is able to return this year, it likely won't be until one of the final games of the season. With the Buccaneers already well out of playoff contention, there's really no point in risking Martin's health any further. Perhaps it's Schiano's last-ditch attempt to save his job — which is undoubtedly in jeopardy at this point — by getting some wins late in the year.