Doug Martin suspended four games for PEDs

Hamilton courtesy Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

The drama surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and running back Doug Martin will apparently continue. His status for the regular-season finale Sunday against Carolina remains uncertain, although it's unlikely that he will play.

Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter stood by his defense of running back Doug Martin, two days after he was a healthy scratch against the Saints.

Martin said in a statement issued Wednesday that he is entering treatment immediately to "receive the help I truly need" and will not be appealing his ban.

The fifth-year pro said he made a decision to enter a treatment facility "and receive the help I truly need" after discussing the matter with people close to him, including Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. The Buccaneers signed Martin to a $35 million contract this offseason.

Martin has struggled on the field this year after turning in a First-team All-Pro campaign in 2015.

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"It was so late, I didn't even get a chance to sit there and look at his face", Winston said of the decision to not play Martin. But now, with the 2017 salary no longer guaranteed, Martin is in danger of losing the entire $7 million salary for the 2017 season.

In Martin's place, Jacquizz Rodgers got the start in Week 16 and Charles Sims resumed his role as the pass-catching back.

"Doug's a great player", receiver Mike Evans said. I asked him, was he good? "I'm not anxious about his situation", Winston said before practice Wednesday. "Everything that's beyond my reach, I can't control". "I don't know what he did".

The Bucs subsequently used their one designated-for-return tag on him and he came back to action in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints.

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