After the Buccaneers play the Panthers on Thursday night, they play just one game before returning to prime time with a game against the Dolphins on Monday, November 11.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Buccaneers are aiming to have running back Doug Martin back in the lineup for that contest. The plan is to have Martin work to strengthen his shoulder, where he reportedly has a torn labrum, in hopes of avoiding surgery which would bring his season to an end. Martin will also wear a harness on the shoulder in hopes of preventing further injury.
Should Martin experience a setback in that time frame, the Bucs will shut him down and move on to other plans but, per Rapoport, the feeling in Tampa is that strengthening the shoulder should limit the risk of a setback and eliminate the need for immediate surgery.
Since the other option is shutting Martin down for good now, it makes sense for the Bucs to try whatever they can to get Martin back on the field before throwing in the towel. They’ll be in the same position if it doesn’t work and good news has been in short enough supply in Tampa this year that you can imagine how appealing even a hint of it would be something to cling to with every bit of available might.