TAMPA — For the better part of three weeks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held out hope second-year RB Doug Martin would eventually return from the left shoulder injury he suffered in Atlanta last month.
On Friday, the Bucs gave up on that idea.
Stalled by a torn labrum that will require surgery to repair, Martin’s follow-up to his Pro Bowl rookie season officially came to an end when the Bucs placed him on season-ending injured reserve. The move came three days after Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Martin was “in play’’ for Monday night’s game against Miami and suggested Martin and rookie Mike James would split carries when and if Martin returned.
Martin even posted on Twitter on Monday that he was preparing to return to practice that day. But Martin was held out of all workouts this week, including a light walkthrough on Wednesday.
Whether Martin suffered a setback or simply realized the pain in his shoulder was too much to take is uncertain. The decision to place Martin on IR was announced after Schiano’s Friday news conference.
The move ends Martin’s season after he appeared in six games and ran 127 times for 456 yards (3.6-yard average) and one touchdown. He also caught 12 passes for 66 yards.
Martin became the 10th player placed on season-ending IR by the Bucs this year. He was replaced on the roster by LB Ka’lial Glaud, a rookie out of Rutgers whio was promoted from the team’s practice squad.
Ready and rarin’ to go
Rookie RB Mike James never had a work day quite as busy as the one against the Seahawks last week. Not even during his days at the University of Miami.
James ran 28 times for 158 yards, caught two passes for eight yards and threw a touchdown pass during the Bucs 27-24 overtime loss at Seattle — a total of 31 touches.
That’s five more touches than James had during his busiest day with the Hurricanes, which came during a 2012 loss to North Carolina. And while it took him a few days, James has recovered from the heavy workload.
“I felt pretty sore after that, but I got up the next day, got in the cold tub, got a massage and got going,’’ James said. “Now I feel like I’m prepared again. I feel good. I’m back and I feel like I felt before the last game again.’’
Schiano isn’t surprised. He said James is tough to begin with, but added that he has done an exceptional job of taking care of himself since being drafted in April.
“We call it pre-hab,’’ Schiano said. “Even though there’s not a particular injury, we ask the guys to be preventative in their rehab, making it before the fact, and he does all those things.’’
He really doesn’t have much choice. Football is a violent game and few players are victimized as much as running backs.
“When you run the football against a good defense and you get hit, it’s like being in a car accident,’’ Schiano said. “That is a violent collision. And if you do that 20 or 30 times, that’s why you’re not ready to go again until Friday or Saturday of the next week.’’
Anything I can do...
Former Bucs LB Derrick Brooks has said several times in the past year that second-year WLB Lavonte David is a better player now than he was at the same stage of his career.
Now, former Bucs DT Warren Sapp is saying similar things about DT Gerald McCoy.
During a stop at One Buc Place this week, Sapp said McCoy is probably bigger, faster and stronger than he was. In response, McCoy said he still has a long way to go to reach Sapp’s level.
“It means a lot that he would say that; it’s a great compliment,” McCoy said. “But he says I have the potential to be as good or better than he was. A lot of people have potential, but it is about what you do with it. Do I have the potential to be as good or better? Yes. But it’s up to me whether I reach that.’’
Business is slow
Bucs CB Darrelle Revis has been on the field for 506 defensive snaps this year, but, according to ProFootballFocus, has been targeted only 30 times by opposing quarterbacks.
“That’s how it usually goes,’’ Revis said. “I think that’s the biggest thing about it — fighting the boredom sometimes. But I still have to prepare as if teams are going to throw the ball, especially being lined up on the best receiver.’’