Carl Nicks Injury: Buccaneers guard returns to practice, MRSA-free

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting healthy again, with Carl Nicks and Erik Lorig both returning to bolster their running game.

Carl Nicks was back at practice on a limited basis yesterday, and signs point to him playing on Sunday. The guard declared himself MRSA free, per the Tampa Bay Times, which means the biggest obstacle to him playing has been removed. While he's likely to struggle with pain due to his plantar plate injury for the rest of his life, he should at least be able to play football again. And there's little reason to think he won't be a big upgrade over Gabe Carimi, who struggled mightily against the Jets.

Other good news is that Erik Lorig participated in practice without limitations yesterday. The fullback was sorely missed against the New York Jets, as the Buccaneers' running game just couldn't get off the ground. They couldn't fill that hole with Brian Leonard or Nate Byham, both of whom got just one snap to prove their worth.

Having both Lorig and Nicks back should be a big boon for the Tampa Bay offense, and they're going up against a defense that allowed the Atlanta Falcons to rush for 6.3 yards per carry. Rob Ryan's defenses have generally struggled to stop the run, and the Bucs will look to take advantage.

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