Doug Martin passes Blount as Bucs starting tailback

AP

The Buccaneers opened the preseason rotating running backs LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin with the first-team offense. In Thursday night’s regular-season tuneup against New England, however, Martin started the game for the first time.

The rookie was in the game for Tampa Bay’s entire first possession, operating as an every-down back, and punched it in from a yard out to give the Bucs an early 7-0 lead.

Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times confirms Martin was promoted ahead of Blount based on performance, not due to injury.

Martin played tailback for the Bucs’ entire second possession, as well. Blount was on the sideline.

Barring something unforeseen, Martin will be the Buccaneers’ starting running back on opening day.

And Blount will be a backup.