Tuesday September 9th, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith told radio station WDAE on Tuesday that running back Doug Martin's knee injury is "minor."

Martin sustained the injury in the second half of the Buccaneers' loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and did not return.

With Tampa Bay driving to potentially take the lead late in the game, Smith went with backup Bobby Rainey as his running back, a decision the coach said wasn't related to Martin's health.

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“Doug did go down with a little minor injury there, so we had to make a change, and from there he was able to come back and he was ready to go,” Lovie said on Total Access on WDAE-AM 620. “Bobby had come and had given us a little bit of life, and as I’ve mentioned we want to play more than one running back throughout. So it was just a perfect time to keep both of them involved.”

Smith had said in training camp that he wants Martin to be the team's "bell cow" at running back. Martin had nine carries for just nine yards on Sunday, while Rainey had four carries for 12 yards.

In 2013, Martin rushed for 456 yards and one touchdown before his season ended in November due to a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Martin's status for Tampa Bay in Week 2 is unclear. The Buccaneers host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Ben Estes

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