Running back Doug Martin announced on Wednesday that he will not play in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ final regular season game so that he can immediately enter a treatment facility.
The decision to enter the treatment facility came after Martin was notified of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
The NFL confirmed to ESPN that Martin was suspended for violating their NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
“My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates,” Martin wrote in a statement. “However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including [head coach Dirk] Koetter – I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.”
The Bucs still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs. However, in addition to beating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, they would need five other teams to win their games and they would need the Washington Redskins-New York Giants game to finish in a tie.
Martin has twice rushed for more than 1,400 yards in his five-year career, including 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns his rookie season after being a first-round pick. This season he rushed for 421 yards in eight games.