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Buccaneers place RB Charles Sims on IR

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense took another hit ahead of Monday night's tussle with the Carolina Panthers.

The Bucs announced they have placed running back Charles Sims on injured reserve with a knee injury. The team promoted rookie tailback Russell Hansbrough from the practice squad.

Doug Martin has missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury and was listed as doubtful to return this week.

Sims suffered a knee injury in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos.

Last season the Bucs boasted the best complementary backs in NFL with the power of Martin between the tackles and shifty Sims doing damage in space in the passing game.

With Martin out, the Bucs tried to use Sims in a traditional running back role. That plan turned out disastrously. Sims carried 28 times for just 83 yards in two games sans Martin, a 2.96 yards per carry average. He's averaged just 2.8 yards per tote on the season.

Sims could be a candidate to return after sitting out eight weeks.

During contract negotiations this offseason with Martin, general manager Jason Licht talked up Sims as a capable full-time back if the team couldn't bring back Martin. The past two weeks proved Sims is not a workhorse back. His injury only magnified that belief that he's merely a pass-catching, change-of-pace player.

Jacquizz Rodgers will be the lead back Monday versus the Panthers, with Hansbrough and Peyton Barber as backups.

With a depressing stable of healthy backs, Jameis Winston will have to throw a ton. The Bucs badly need Martin to get back on the field in short order.

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