After having a rough 2013 season, the San Francisco 49ers gave Jonathan Martin another chance when they acquired him by trade. They gave up a seventh-round pick to the Miami Dolphins which cleaned the slate for his career.
Fast forward to 2014 and suddenly Martin has become a starting RT for the 49ers in six games. He also had to take over for an injured Anthony Davis in Week 4, where he had significant playing time in the first six weeks of the season.
Martin said he has stayed prepared for his opportunities on the field. On Thursday, he will make his seventh start of the season and play more than 75 percent of the snaps on offense for the eighth time this season.
“[Starting at right tackle has] kind of been my role this entire season,” Martin said after the game on Sunday. “I’ve embraced that. [I’ve] just been working to be ready when I’m called upon. [Anthony Davis] is a little banged up and I was inserted into the starting lineup doing the best to do my job.”
Davis began the offseason recovering from a torn bicep injury where he had surgery in the spring. He was sidelined for the first three weeks of the season until Week 4, but re-injured himself against the Philadelphia Eagles. Davis suffered a concussion in Week 11 and has not been cleared to play.
Martin started against the Washington Redskins on Sunday and will be facing a tough defensive line of the Seattle Seahawks for Thursday. Martin hopes the running game can improve from the last game.
“It was a little frustrating to not be able to get the running [game] established,” Martin said. “Something we gotta get more breathing room and try to get more consistent on the ground so we can balance out our attack.”
Initially, Martin was a victim of bullying with the Miami Dolphins where the headlines were around himself and teammate Richie Incognito. After being separated from the team, Jim Harbaugh spoke in that week saying he “supports” his former lineman. Martin was recruited by Harbaugh and played under him at Stanford from 2008-2011.
He said he wasn’t expecting to have an immediate role with the 49ers, but will be needed to step up as the starting right tackle. He has enjoyed every moment of the chances he is given each week.
“[The opportunity has] been great absolutely,” Martin said. “Coming into this season, I didn’t think I was going to get nearly this many reps in a game. I’ve just been keeping my body ready to go and know the game plan. And when I’m called upon, [I want] to be ready to step in at a high level.”