The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a short week to prepare for the Carolina Panthers, and that may not be enough time for two of their star players to get healthy enough to take the field.
Here’s a tweet from Adam Schefter reporting the bad news about running back Doug Martin and safety Dashon Goldson.
MRI Monday for Tampa: Bucs RB Doug Martin will have MRI on shoulder, S Dashon Goldson will have MRI on knee. Tough for Martin to play Thurs.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 21, 2013
Martin has already said he did not separate his shoulder, but there are other ways to damage a shoulder besides a separation. Clearly the injury in severe enough to possibly keep him out against Carolina, and further tests will reveal the extent of the damage.
As for Goldson, he attempted to play on his injured knee, coming back into the game and deflecting a pass before eventually leaving again.
#Bucs S Dashon Goldson said he hurt left knee in first quarter getting cut by receiver. Tried to come back but didn’t feel right.
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) October 20, 2013
An MRI could reveal some very frustrating news for Goldson, but it’s far too early for speculation. We will likely know the results of the MRI today, but don’t be surprised if Goldson misses out on Thursday’s game as well.
At 0-6, it would be wise for the Buccaneers to sit both players if they’re not at 100%. This season will not end in a playoff berth, so rushing players back from injury and risking a more severe re-injury would be foolish and irresponsible.
I am sure the players would like to play, because it’s their job and they take a lot of pride in it. But the Buccaneers have a responsibility to their players to keep them safe, and in Martin’s case it seems as if playing on Thursday would be somewhat risky.
Goldson and Martin are both going to be key players for the Buccaneers over the next few seasons, so they should be treated with caution and protected for future seasons with hopefully higher win totals.