Doug Martin injury: Buccaneers RB leaves game after hit to helmet

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The running back went low for a block, taking a knee to the head in the process.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin left Friday's game against the New England Patriots with an apparent head injury. Martin took a knee to the helmet while in on pass protection and was examined on the sideline briefly before being taken to the locker room.

Regardless of whether or not the Buccaneers think the injury is significant, Martin will almost certainly not get back into this game. If he has a concussion or anything similar, he will have to complete a battery of tests before returning to action.

Below, we've got a GIF of Martin taking the scary hit:


Martin is a huge part of Tampa Bay's offense. When quarterback Josh Freeman struggled last season, it was Martin, then a rookie, who picked up the slack. He carried the ball 319 times for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 472 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.

We'll wait for an update on his condition, but it's always a concern when a player seems to suffer a head injury, especially a player as important to the Buccaneers as Martin happens to be. The names behind him aren't very confidence-inspiring, as the roster lists Peyton Hillis, Mike James, Brian Leonard and Michael Smith on the running back depth chart.

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