Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances and said Wednesday he’s entering a treatment facility rather than appeal the ban.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection, slowed by a hamstring injury this season after rushing for 1,402 yards in 2015, will miss Sunday’s regular-season finale against Carolina.
He also sat out last week’s 31-24 loss at New Orleans after being declared inactive against the Saints, though that game won’t count against the penalty.
Martin said in a statement that he learned of the suspension last week and that his “initial instinct” was to “appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates.”
The fifth-year pro said he decided 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.
“On the field, I must be strong and determined to push through both pain and injuries to become an elite NFL running back.
“Off the field, I have tried that same approach in my personal life,” Martin said in the statement released through the team. “My shortcomings in this area have taught me both that I cannot win these personal battles alone and that there is no shame in asking for help.”
The NFL said Martin, 27, was suspended for the team’s “next four regular-season and/or postseason games,” beginning immediately.
Lynn: Business decision to start Manuel
Aside from having an interim coach in Anthony Lynn, the Buffalo Bills also have an interim starting quarterback: EJ Manuel.
Without going into detail, Lynn called it “a business decision” to start Manuel in place of Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo’s season finale against the Jets on Sunday. Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention.
Lynn, who doubles as the team’s offensive coordinator, also revealed on Wednesday that he had little — if any input — in making the quarterback switch made a day after Rex Ryan was fired.
In first saying it was “our decision,” Lynn later said he “wasn’t in the room,” when the decision was made. He then added he can’t speak for general manager Doug Whaley or owner Terry Pegula.
As for whether he had a preference over who starts, Lynn said the team wants to gauge its depth at quarterback with Manuel being the next in line.
Despite signing a lucrative five-year extension and restructuring the final season of his contract in August. The Bills can opt out of the deal after this season, but it’s unclear if they would still have that flexibility if Taylor sustains a long-term injury.
Manuel is 6-10 as a starter, and completing the final year of his contract since being selected in the first round in 2013.