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Doug Martin exits Buccaneers' loss after hit to helmet

Doug Martin might be the most valuable player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense. Any injury the running back suffers is a concern, but it appears he dodged a bullet Friday night.

The second-year pro left the Bucs' 25-21 preseason loss to the New England Patriots with an apparent head injury. The Bucs announced that Martin would not return to the game, calling the incident "a hard hit."

Martin told the Tampa Bay Times after the game that he did not suffer a concussion. Teams generally don't allow players to talk to reporters if there is any risk of a concussion, so it appears Martin escaped without an issue.

Martin suffered the injury after taking a knee to the helmet while in pass protection. He subsequently was examined on the sideline, then taken to the locker room.

Martin is one of the best running backs in football, but the Bucs have a very thin backfield behind him.

UPDATE: Bucs coach Greg Schiano told reporters after the game that Martin appeared to be OK.

"I think Doug is going to be fine," Schiano said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "He got hit in the head, but he cleared really quickly. I saw him at halftime and he was fine. He was going to play one more play."

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