As if the news of the loss of wide receiver Vincent Jackson wasn’t enough, now it appears the Bucs may have to continue playing for an extended period without running back Doug Martin.
Martin, who has missed the last three games because of a hamstring strain he suffered in the Bucs Week 2 loss at Arizona, has suffered a setback in his rehab and will be out indefinitely.
“Doug unfortunately did suffer a setback a week ago Sunday,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday. “We’ll just have to see when he can make it back. There’s no timetable on that right now.’’
The news on Martin comes a day after the Bucs had to place Jackson on injured reserve with a left ACL injury that he suffered during the Bucs 17-14 win at Carolina last Monday.
Many thought that would be the last game the Bucs would have to play without Martin, who was actually listed as “doubtful’’ on the injury report for that game after being listed as out for the previous two.
Now it’s hard to know just when, or even if, Martin will return. As Martin no doubt learned, hamstring injuries are quite tricky and can appear to be healed when they’re actually not.
In his absence, the Buccaneers will continue to feature Jacquizz Rodgers (pictured above), who had a great debut as the starter on Monday Night against the Panthers.
Rodgers ran for 101 yards on 30 carries, but more importantly his down hill running style churned out some extra yards throughout the game and helped the Bucs set up their play action passing game.
Tampa Bay also has rookie free agent Peyton Barber in reserve and on Monday they signed veteran Antone Smith, who like Rodgers, had previously played for Koetter when the latter was offensive coordinator in Atlanta.
Martin, of course, wasn’t the only Buccaneer still missing from practice on Wednesday. Defensive linemen Robert Ayers (ankle) and Clinton McDonald (hamstring) didn’t practice either.
The only good news was that Gerald McCoy returned to work. McCoy missed the last game with a calf strain, but he returned on a limited basis and should be good to for Sunday, barring a setback of course.