Bucs moving slowly with Doug Martin


TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are taking their time on making a decision on whether running back Doug Martin will return this season.

Martin has been sidelined by a shoulder injury, and at some point, it will require surgery. Martin said Wednesday he's been working with the team's training staff and feels like the shoulder is progressing.

"It's just a matter of dealing with Doug and our trainers and our doctors," coach Greg Schiano said. "Is he OK to play? Is it in his best interest? Does it affect him negatively if we do the surgery at the end of the year or now? If, at any moment, it affects him negatively then we'll do (surgery) now. I think that's what we're working through as an organization, like what is best for everybody involved. The rehab on that is not a long rehab. It's not one of those deals where he's going to be out six months or anything like that."

I think this is a situation where the Bucs need to be very cautious. They're 0-8 and the second half of the season could be meaningless. Martin's a competitor and wants to play. But he has the talent to be one of the league's top running backs, and the Bucs might be better off shutting him down for the rest of the season and allowing him to get fully healthy for the 2014 season.