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Drug violation led to the benching of Bucs’ back Doug Martin

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The unexplained benching of Tampa Bay Bucs running back Doug Martin cleared up Wednesday afternoon. Martin announced he is serving a four-game suspension for performing enhancing drugs. “I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy,” Martin said in a statement. “My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including Coach (Dirk) Koetter – I am starting…

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Bucs’ winning streak stopped in Dallas by Cowboys’ rookies

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Maybe they simply aren’t ready yet. Maybe that explains it. Maybe it was all of those turnovers (three interceptions, a fumble and a random head-butt by quarterback Jameis Winston.) Maybe it was that the defense wasn’t as sharp as it has been, giving up hugh games to the Cowboys’ star rookies. They surrendered 279 yards passing to Dak Prescott and 153 yards rushing to Zeke Elliott. Maybe the Bucs aren’t good enough for a six-game winning streak. Maybe it was…

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Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston settles with woman accuser

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Tampa Bay Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston can just worry about the playoffs. If anything else was on Winston’s mind, he put it to rest Thursday when he and accuser Erica Kinsman have reached a settlement in her lawsuit. John Clune, a lawyer for the woman, Erica Kinsman, on Wednesday night confirmed a report first published by TMZ Sports, saying, “The case has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.” Kinsman, who said she was raped by Winston when the…

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Tampa Bay wins fifth straight game to remain in playoff search

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Keith Tandy recognized the formation. It was the one that the Bucs kept trying to run, and failing, during their week of practice. Still, Tandy had a clue, which is why he broke on the play and grabbed a game-winning interception from Drew Brees Sunday afternoon. It led to the Bucs’ fifth straight win, a 16-11 victory over New Orleans. It was also the second straight week that Tandy had the game-cinching interception. “Right now, we’re confident,” Tandy said. “And…

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Bucs hope to move Brees out of the way of their playoff dreams

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No quarterback has beaten the Tampa Bay Bucs as much as Drew Brees. Now, he has a chance to do it two times in three weeks in an effort to derail the team’s playoff hopes. Brees, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, is 14-7 against the Bucs and has won eight of the last nine meetings. Lifetime, he has a 96.1 rating against Tampa Bay. “Me and Drew (Brees) have a little personal rivalry because we train together, so…

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Bucs need help from their receivers down the depth chart

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In the war of attrition that is the NFL, the Tampa Bay Bucs are trying to fix what’s broken while their team is on the move. In particular, the Bucs have trying to find wide receivers after injuries cut their available players to three last week. Tampa Bay has brought up Josh Huff, a former third-round pick of the Eagles out of Oregon, from the practice squad to help to fill in. Huff has made progress since joining the Bucs’…

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Now, more than ever, the Bucs are Jameis Winston’s football team

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The defense is playing better. More receivers are getting open. The safeties have been very good. Punter Ryan Anger has been special. But for the Tampa Bay Bucs, the key is still quarterback Jameis Winston. “When Jameis takes care of the football, we’re tough,” said Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter Wednesday. “We’ve got to take care of the football, that’s everybody. The main thing that we’re doing better in the last few weeks is we’re getting turnovers and we’re not turning…

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