Bucs do get Martin back at practice Wednesday after all

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The Cubs winning the World Series, Donald Trump in the White House and Doug Martin back on the field for the Buccaneers before the 2016 season ran out.

There are plenty of cynics who thought they’d never see any of those occurrences but in the wake of the Cubs first Series title in 108 years and Trump’s election day upset over Hillary Clinton, Martin finished off the hat trick on Wednesday.

For the first time since he went down with a right hamstring strain during their Week 2 loss at Arizona, Martin was back at work with the Bucs and he could be in the lineup for them Sunday against the Bears.

 Not that anyone should be surprised. After all, it was just last Friday that Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he was “hopeful’’ Martin would be back for the Bears game.

But then came the Bucs bonus workout on Monday and still there was no Doug Martin. At least, not on the practice field. Not only that, but there was no word from Koetter as to why.

Koetter still isn’t talking about Martin, not in terms of how much or even if he’ll play. And Martin hasn’t talked either. Their silence aside, though, Martin’s return is a good sign for the Bucs.

“When you’re used to seeing a certain guy and you know what to expect from a guy who’s got skins on the wall like Doug has, just getting that kind of a back can be a boost,’’ Bears coach John Fox said.

 “I mean, just look at us and how we were after we got (quarterback) Jay (Cutler) back (last week). Guys like that just naturally give your team a boost, because they give your overall confidence a boost.’’

 Martin could give the Bucs entire running game a boost. Decimated by injuries, the Bucs went into the week planning to use a committee approach at running back, where injuries had left them with undrafted rookies Peyton Barber and Russell Hansbrough and seldom-used veteran Mike James as their top options.

That committee approach may still be put in place, but now there’s a chance that Martin may not only be a part of the committee, he may be the chairman of the committee.







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