Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) tackles during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The smart move for the Buccaneers is to shut Doug Martin down

After initial diagnosis and analysis suggested Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin would be out for the season with a torn labrum, there is now a sense that he could potentially keep playing, albeit through pain, with treatment.  This is extremely important because the Bucs are 0-7 with a head coach that is almost guaranteed to be fired with billboards demanding it in the area.  The Bucs ownership needs to step in here and shut Martin down for the season.

This would be a completely different discussion if the Bucs were competitive with a chance to make a run at the playoffs or more, but they are circling the drain right now with nothing but uncertainty surrounding the organization.  Martin getting more carries, taking more punishment and risking further injury might prove how tough he is, but it has no benefit for him or the team the rest of this year.  Oh, and there is also that staph scare going on that locker room right now, so they may want to keep him away from that as well.  Avoiding taking hits for the rest of the season not only prevents him from getting further injury, but also works to extend his viability in the long term.

The other part of this is the Bucs are terrible.  They should embrace being terrible.  Shutting Martin down makes it that much more likely that the Bucs can win this dead heat with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the top pick of the draft.  The Buccaneers have a good defense and a lot of talent on offense.  What they really need is a franchise quarterback as Mike Glennon is not the guy.  It would seemingly be a dream scenario for the Bucs to bottom out this season, have everyone back healthy next year with Teddy Bridgewater in the fold and being perhaps the most attractive franchise for every free agent head coach in the NFL.  The Glazers have an opportunity to take the heat off of Martin for any potential suggestions he is quitting while putting their team in substantially better position to be a contender and fast.  Do the right thing.  Shut Martin down; he has nothing to prove this season and only risks doing damage that could impact next season.

Tags: Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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