Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martinhad a really rough, brief night against the New England Patriots, and he was only able to get one carry in for four yards before exiting the game with a head injury. Martin was tasked with picking up Chandler Jones in pass pro, and he ended up taking a knee to the head before leaving the game. The star running back said that he doesn’t have a concussion, so that’s great news. Test will tell whether or not he is good to go, as there still remains a chance of concussion. Fantasy owners and Bucs fans will be holding their breath until then, but it doesn’t seem serious.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Martin is one of the most well-rounded backs in the NFL, and that’s one of the reasons why the Bucs targeted him in the 2012 draft. Greg Schiano and the Bucs really wanted a true three-down back over LeGarrette Blount, and Martin was a perfect fit for what they wanted. He also more than surpassed expectations as a rookie, and he even received some gushing praise from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick prior to last night’s preseason game.
One of the best running backs in the league in pass protection, Doug Martin had a rough night in that regard, and it wasn’t his fault at all. The play that stood out to me was when Brandon Spikes just came up the middle on an interior blitz and beat Martin viciously. Spikes is one of the most violent players in the game, and he is arguably the hardest-hitting linebackers in the NFL. The Patriots middle linebacker is absolutely explosive, and he picked up two sacks last night. We should be seeing more of those kinds of blitzes from Spikes, as he is proficient in that regard. That’s bad news for running backs like Martin, but it wasn’t Spikes who injured him; he just pushed by him to Josh Freeman.
I’m sure Martin is fine, but we can only hope for the best right now.