Doug Martin returned to practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Week 2.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter told reporters that Martin was limited in Wednesday’s practice session, but he wouldn’t speculate on whether Martin would be available to play against the Chicago Bears this week.

Martin’s presence on the practice field could be a positive sign for his availability Sunday if he continues to progress throughout the week. After injuring his hamstring in the second game of the season, the bowling-ball runner suffered a setback prior to Week 7.

The Bucs’ backfield has been decimated by injury this season. Martin has missed six games, Charles Sims went on injured reserve, Jacquizz Rodgers hurt his foot in Week 8 and Antone Smith‘s season ended with a knee injury last week.

Peyton Barber was scheduled to get the bulk of the workload unless Martin returns.

Tampa could ease Martin back into the rotation after rehabbing for seven weeks. Whether or not he sees a full workload this week, Wednesday’s news is a good sign that Jameis Winston will finally get his workhorse back soon.

Receiver Mike Evans was also at practice. The go-to wideout remains in concussion protocol but is on a path to participating Sunday. 

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