NFL.com's Michael Wesseling has reported that Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin is expecting to gain medical clearance next week, and should be ready to resume football-related activities when the team starts mini-camp on April 22nd. "It's been too long since I've been in the game," Martin said, via Rick Brown of the Lakeland Ledger. "I can't wait to get back on the field."
Expectations were high for Martin in 2013, after rushing for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns during his rookie season in 2012. He was injured six games into the year and placed on Injured Reserve with a torn labrum in his left shoulder in Week 8.
Good news... he's looking like he'll be healthy for the start of the 2014 campaign, and new head coach Lovie Smith has already said that he's going to be their main running back.
Bad news... the new offensive staff has also said that they will utilize a more balanced running attack than what the previous regime did under Greg Schiano. So, even if he is their "main running back", the odds of him getting over 300 carries and tallying over 1,400 yards as he did in his rookie season are slim-to-none.
Fantasy take... A torn labrum is a rare injury for a running back, so you have to assume it was a freak thing. If Martin is healthy, even if he shares carries, is still a solid RB1. The 49 catches for 472 yards in his rookie year makes him a top 10 fantasy RB in PPR leagues. There's a reason he was drafted in the top 5 picks of most 2013 fantasy drafts. He's a stud.