Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
It seems every week something bad comes out about the Bucs in Tampa. From Aqib Talib being suspended, to Eric Wright being suspended and dating all the way back to the announcement that Davin Joseph was going on injured reserve, the Bucs are having just a nasty season.
When Carl Nicks came to town, he was the biggest signing of the offseason for the Bucs next to reeling in Vincent Jackson. Everyone was touting the All-Pro line in Tampa with Nicks joining elite guard Davin Joseph on the offensive front, but we now won’t get to see that tandem until next season.
The first kink was losing Joseph to IR and now Nicks has been placed there as well, as his case of planter faciitits has flared up and he’s taken a step back in his recovery.
Nicks has been battling his toe injury all season long, but after the injury got worse after the win over the Vikings on Thursday, the Bucs have made the smart (and safe) move in shutting down Nicks for the rest of the season.
With Nicks now on IR, that makes the third giant name on this team to be out for the season. First it was Joseph, then defensive end Adrian Clayborn was lost for the season and now Nicks. Anthony Gaitor is also on IR but he’s on the new list where players can be designated for return.
Shutting down Nicks means the Bucs are serious about being a team of the future. The recent wins have been nice, but there should have never been the belief that this team was ready to win anything other than some regular season confidence boosters. If you thought this team was Super Bowl bound — or had that potential– you were too close to the Kool-Aid bowl.
But with Nicks, Joseph and Clayborn all resting up and healing, the Bucs are showing that they don’t need big names to be competitive. Only time will tell if this swagger strategy works, and it will be the cause of some brutal losses, but the Bucs are growing from this and these injuries are blessings in disguise.
Big names are nice, but the San Francisco Giants just won the World Series over a team that went with the buy large strategy. The Giants beat the Tigers with a homegrown style of baseball and that’s the model the Bucs are seemingly trying to follow. That’s not to say Nicks wouldn’t be on IR, he was headed there anyways.
But this offers the Bucs an opportunity to grow without their superstars so that when they return this is a more rounded football team. This year was never about winning, the wins are arbitrary at this early stage. What this season is about is getting your sea legs and growing as a unit.
The injuries sting, now doubt, but this is not the end of the world and the Bucs will come out of this a better team.