Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith said Thursday that Doug Martin is now the team's "bell cow" running back after a spree of injuries have sidelined other Bucs backfield options.
"With Mike James going down with an injury and Charles Sims going down, Doug is our bell cow," Smith said.
That comment is a stark departure from the RBBC rhetoric Smith had been using throughout the preseason, and reflects the reality that the team is suddenly very thin at the RB position.
That escalated quickly. Two weeks ago, the Buccaneers were solidly in the "committee" category. Now, with the rookie Sims out for 12 to 14 weeks, and James out for an undetermined period with a shoulder injury, Martin suddenly looks like a workhorse again. His draft stock should be boosted accordingly. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a repeat of his phenomenal 2012 rookie season, but with the amount of work he'll be getting early in the season, it's fair to consider Martin a low-end RB1 or elite RB2.