Buccaneers RB Doug Martin expects medical clearance soon

Doug Martin should be ready for Tampa's offseason workouts, which begin on April 22. (USATSI)
Doug Martin should be ready for Tampa's offseason workouts, which begin on April 22. (USATSI)

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The last time we saw Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin on a football field was in October when he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in a Week 7 loss to the Falcons. After the injury, Martin underwent surgery and missed the rest of the 2013 season. 

Martin doesn't expect to miss any part of 2014 though, the 25-year-old running back told the Tampa Bay Times that he expects to be medically cleared soon. 

"I feel great. My arm is about to get cleared this week," Martin said. "I'm just getting my strength back. It's been too long since I've been out of the game."

If Martin does get the medical clearance he's expecting, he'll be on track to participate in the Buccaneers offseason workouts, which begin on April 22. 

The former first-round pick stormed onto the NFL scene as a rookie in 2012, rushing for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns for Tampa Bay. Martin totaled 456 yards and one touchdown in 2013 before suffering the shoulder injury. 

After Martin went down, the Bucs running game was put in the hands of Bobby Rainey and Mike James. Although Rainey was solid in 10 games last season, new Bucs coach Lovie Smith said at the owners meeting that Martin will be the guy in 2014. 

"We're going to lean on one guy, but I like the rotation," Smith said. "I think you have to have a bell cow. He's ours. At the running back position, there are enough reps to go along. We want three guys we feel comfortable with. Two will play, but it's not a rotation that where every series we're going to have a different guy in there."

Rainey rushed for 532 yards and five touchdowns after Martin went down. James added 295 yards on the season, including 158 yards in Week 9 when the Buccaneers almost upset the Seahawks. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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