Buccaneers’ running back Doug Martin broke his media silence Thursday following his suspension for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy last December.
Last December, Doug Martin was a surprising inactive during the week 16 game in New Orleans. News hit later that week that the Tampa Bay running back had been suspended four games for violating the leagues’ substance abuse policy.
Martin immediately began serving his suspension week 17 of last season. He’ll finish his suspension the beginning of the 2017 season.
“I’m a stronger person individually, mentally and physically.” Martin said during his press conference at Buccaneers’ OTA’s. “Better on-and-off the field,” he added.
The Boise State alum said that he had massive amounts of support from his teammates and the organization throughout his rehab stint.
“It makes you feel great,” Martin explained. “I had a lot of support from my teammates. Jameis and Gerald, they did a good job in rallying behind me, Coach and Jason [Licht] as well. I’d like to thank them in staying behind me and for the support, and the fans.”
Doug Martin says the months since the end of last season have been a journey of self-development, and he's happy to be back.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) May 25, 2017
During Martin’s offseason, he put away his cell phone, and went silent on all social media.
“No I did not have a phone,” He said when asked. “It was definitely hard to be away from my friends and family, but I found strength in me and the people around me at the time. I definitely turned a negative into a positive.”
The Buccaneers’ running back broke his silence in early April with a tweet on his alma mater’s home field.
"Never forget your past, it's the foundation that built your existence and the secret to your future." pic.twitter.com/vEFav8ecz5
— Doug Martin (@DougMartin22) April 7, 2017
Martin is set to miss the first three games of the Buccaneers’ season due to his suspension, but should return to the team when the New York Giants come to Tampa for their week four matchup. As of right now, the Bucs will look to Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber and newly drafted RB Jeremy McNichols to carry the load while Martin finishes his suspension.