Jul 25, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph (75), tackle Donald Penn (70) and guard Carl Nicks (77) share a laugh during training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Nicks to Make His 2013 Debut Friday Against the New England Patriots

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will welcome one of the best players at his position back to the field after a major injury sent him to injured reserve last season, as Carl Nicks will make his debut for the 2013 Buccaneers on Friday night against the Patriots.

Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Nicks will make an appearance on Friday evening, and it will be an opportunity to judge the progress of his foot injury.

Nicks was signed to a massive contract before last season, but played hurt for a portion of the 2012 campaign and was placed on injured reserve after only seven weeks in the starting lineup. He is one of the best guards in the NFL, and his presence will improve the Buccaneers’ running game immensely. Last season the team preferred to run to the left, behind franchise tackle Donald Penn and utilizing right guard Jamon Meredith as a pulling guard on occasion.

The Buccaneers’ highly-paid guard will play with pain despite having his foot surgically repaired, so getting back on the field is a big step to see how he can handle the pain, and to give him an idea of how to manage the discomfort. Don’t expect Nicks to play very much, but it will be encouraging to see him take to the field in a Buccaneers’ uniform.

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