The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened their three-day mini-camp today, and offensive guard Carl Nicks was in attendance, if not participating. His injury has been a topic of concern lately, but he seemed optimistic on his return from it. That would mean being recovered by mid-June, two months from now.
Nicks says the plan is to get him ready for the start of training camp, and he thinks he will hit that goal.— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) April 22, 2014
Yesterday, Rick Stroud noted that he was not hearing great things on the big guard's progress on his rehabilitation, but which conflicted with earlier reports (which were cautiously optimistic). We can do little but wait and see what happens, which is exactly what the Bucs are doing, too.
Incidentally, cutting Carl Nicks is not really a useful option for the Bucs. As Gur Samuel in January, Nicks' contract is set up so that cutting him would likely increase his 2014 number, or at most not make a huge difference in the team's cap situation. Not that the Bucs could spend that cap space on anyone useful this far into free agency.
Overall, the Bucs probably have to proceed as if Carl Nicks is not going to be available while they wait for his rehabilitation to progress. That means adding an offensive lineman who can play guard in the draft, and probably adding some veteran depth at some point as well.
In related news, it seems both Luke Stocker and Jonathan Casillas have fully recovered from their season-ending injuries, per Greg Auman, so the team does at least have some depth at tight end and linebacker.