The Tampa Bay Buccaneers benched Doug Martin for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. The running back is on the inactives list for what NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says is a “minor rule violation”.
#Bucs RB Doug Martin is a healthy scratch because of a rule violation regarding one meeting, source said. It was described as minor, and he should be back on the field for the last two games.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 19, 2017
Martin’s been having a pretty terrible season anyway, and was outshone by Peyton Barber the last two games. The Bucs’ running game shouldn’t take a big step back without the veteran back on the field, and it remains to be seen whether the team will even bring him back next season.
A bigger blow to the Bucs’ team will be the already known absence of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves with injuries. The Bucs defense is seriously undermanned tonight, against a strong passing team.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are mostly healthy. Their only relevant scratches are running back Tevin Coleman and guard Andy Levitre.
Buccaneers inactives: QB Ryan Griffin, RB Doug Martin, CB Vernon Hargreaves, LB Lavonte David, OL Mike Liedtke, WR Bobo Wilson, DT Gerald McCoy
Falcons inactives: WR Nick Williams, RB Tevin Coleman, CB Deji Olatoye, S Leon McFadden, LB Sean Weatherspoon, G Sean Harlow, G Andy Levitre