Carl Nicks was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the 2012 season, and his addition promised to provide an All Pro at guard for the Buccaneers, who were looking to run the ball more often under new head coach Greg Schiano.
But a severe foot injury, months of rehab, followed by a MRSA infection and continued complications with his original injury has placed the guard on the bench for most of his time in Tampa Bay, and according to a report, he may never see the field again.
Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that his sources in Tampa have told him that Nicks will see a specialist to determine the extent of his injuries, and whether or not he’ll return to the field any time soon.
Nicks is reportedly dealing with the symptoms that he experienced after injuring his foot for the first time in 2012, and it’s not known if that has anything to do with MRSA, or if it’s just a continuation of a severe foot and toe injury he suffered a year earlier.
The Buccaneers are on the hook for plenty of money to Nicks, because at his best, he’s a dominant player at his position. But that’s not enough to call him a “bust,” because his injuries were far from predictable, and it’s possible (although allegedly proven unlikely) that the team itself caused the second major injury (the MRSA infection).
It’s a shame that a terrific player may never play again, or never resume playing at his usual level.
But from a football standpoint, the Buccaneers will have a decision to make with Nicks, who is highly paid but can still be released to save money in future seasons with a cap hit in the short term. Nicks’ trip to a specialist to learn more about his injuries should be very telling.