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Bucs RB Martin: Cleared to return

The SportsXchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin announced via Twitter on Monday that he is cleared to return from the shoulder injury that limited him last season.

Martin recently told the Tampa Bay Times he expected to be cleared to return to full activity this week.

Martin's season ended last year when he sustained the left shoulder injury during the Buccaneers' Week 7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

New coach Lovie Smith recently said he plans for Martin to be the lead ball carrier.

"I think you have to have a bell cow," Smith said at the NFL owners meetings. "(Martin) is ours. At the running back position, there's enough reps to go around. We want three guys we feel comfortable with.

"Two will play, but it's not a rotation that where every series we're going to have a different guy in there. We'll have a starter, then we'll have a backup that will give him quality backup minutes."

Mike James and Bobby Rainey filled in for Martin last year.

Martin rushed for 1,454 yards with 11 touchdowns in his rookie season in 2012. Last year, he gained 456 rushing yards with one touchdown in six games.
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