The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally pulled the plug on Doug Martin, who suffered a torn labrum three weeks ago in a game against the Atlanta Falcons. The team has placed the second-year back on injured reserve.
The Bucs had hoped that Martin would be able to play through the injury after strengthening his shoulder, as John Lynch had done a decade before. While the Bucs remained hopeful publicly and refused to end Martin's season, he's now done for the year.
The Bucs will turn to Mike James as their primary running back. The sixth-round rookie had a terrific game against the Seattle Seahawks last week, rushing for 158 yards on 28 carries. The Bucs will work in Brian Leonard as well, though he'll primarily be a third-down back.
Doug Martin should be able to return to full form next season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The back rushed for 456 yards on 127 carries in six games this season, but was limited by a struggling offensive line and the lack of a quality quarterback, which allowed defenses to play eight players in the box far too often.