Buccaneers studying rash of leg injuries

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Of the eight players that appeared on the Buccaneers injury report on Thursday, half of them were on there because of muscle or soft-tissue injuries, including three with hamstring strains.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says he can’t quite figure out why so many of his players have been hobbled by such ailments but he’s clearly on a mission to find out.

“We’ve actually been doing a lot of studying on that with our training staff and our strength staff,’’ Koetter said. “I mean, you’re always trying to figure out the cause of those soft-tissue injuries.

“I talk to other coaches around the league about it and there’s just so many theories, but we are working on it. We have a database worth of stuff on it, but I’m still not exactly sure why (it’s happening).’’

One theory suggests the Bucs players are among those most prone to such injuries because they regularly practice and play in a far more humid environment than the players on most other teams.

But that doesn’t explain how running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Cecil Shorts both sustained hamstring strains during a game that was played indoors during a trip to the Arizona desert.

It was suggested that the long flight to Arizona might have left both players more susceptible to such injuries because a body gets stiffer and loses hydration during air flight.

Koetter countered that argument, though, saying one of the reasons he orders the Bucs leave for West Coast trips on Friday (like they will today to San Francisco) is to allow the players bodies time to recover naturally from the long flight.

“The other thing is, if you really watch the two plays where Cecil and Doug got hurt, on Cecil’s it was a crossing route out in front of him and that was one of the ones where, if you were watching it on TV, you’d say, ‘Oh, that guy just got his hamstring,’ because he really had to stretch for it,’’ Koetter said

“But with Doug on the other hand, it was a little toss play to the right and it wasn’t even a violent cut that he made. I mean, I was shocked that Doug hurt his hamstring (on that play) because he wasn’t even going 40-percent speed. So my (Physical Education) degree from Idaho State is not helping me right now on these kinds of questions.’’

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