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Tampa Bay Bucs to face Jaguars without Doug Martin tonight

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One of the key elements to the Tampa Bay Bucs won’t make an appearance in tonight’s preseason game.

The Bucs will hold out running back Doug Martin, who has sore ribs, as a precautionary measure against the Jacksonville Jaguars when the teams meet tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Martin figured to be a central figure for both teams. Last season, in a 38-31 victory, Martin ran for 123 yards against the Jags. But in the Bucs’ preseason opener against Philadelphia, the Bucs ran only for 31 yards on 21 carries. Establishing Martin seem to be a key factor for the Bucs; stopping him seemed to be vital for the Jags.

Without him, the Bucs may have to rely more on the passing of quarterback Jameis Winston, who was seven-of-nine throwing against the Eagles.

The Jags, meanwhile, while try to establish free agent Chris Ivory. In last year’s game, Jacksonville ran for only 55 yards, and 21 of those were by Blake Bortles.

There are clear goals for the Bucs in the game. They had five turnovers last week, they had seven dropped passes and 10 penalties. The Jags lost, too, but only after their first team staked them to a 10-0 lead.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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