Doug Martin will miss the first three games of the season, and when he returns, the Bucs running back has no guarantee what role he will play. But Martin said he has to “approach this like any other season.”
“I will be out those three games, that’s the reality of the situation,” Martin said, via Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. “During those three weeks, I’m going to prepare myself to get my legs back under me and get ready to play.
“Me and my people are going to come up with a regimen on what needs to be done during those three weeks.”
The league suspended Martin for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and he served one game in the 2016 regular-season finale. Once the preseason ends, Martin can’t rejoin the team until Sept. 25.
Martin spoke publicly about the suspension for the first time in May, but he has not discussed specifics about the drug involved or his decision to enter a treatment facility. He did allow that he trained six days a week in Thousand Oaks, California, preparing to rejoin the Bucs for offseason workouts.
“It’s a real relief [to be back with teammates],” Martin said. “Just thinking back on it is a little surreal to me. Like, ‘Wow, did that actually happen?’ But, it did and it happened for the better. I’m glad to be back out here, and I’m ready to move forward from that and show everybody out here what I came to do.”
The two-time Pro Bowl selection was limited to eight games last season because of injuries and the suspension. He rushed for only 421 yards and three touchdowns.