Doug Martin expects medical clearance next week

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The Buccaneers have been busy this offseason as they’ve changed coaches, jettisoned Darrelle Revis and signed a slew of free agents to remake their roster.

They’ve also changed uniforms and they showed them off in Tampa the other night at an event that offered a reminder that running back isn’t a place where they’ve added any new blood. Doug Martin was at the event and the Bucs are counting on him making a return to his 2012 form after a shoulder injury wiped out most of his second NFL season.

Martin’s return to full strength appears to be going well. He told reporters that he anticipates medical clearance to return next week, which should make him a participant when the Bucs kick off their offseason work next month.

“It’s been too long since I’ve been in the game,” Martin said, via the Lakeland Ledger. “I can’t wait to get back on the field.”

The Bucs cobbled together some strong running performances from Bobby Rainey and Mike James after Martin went down last year, although a healthy Martin is a better bet for productivity moving forward. Things will look different as the team has moved on from several starting offensive linemen and changed quarterbacks, but Martin is sure to be front and center as long as all is right with his shoulder.