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Carl Nicks injury: Buccaneers guard's future is in doubt

Carl Nicks' future is in doubt, according to one report.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not see Carl Nicks take the field again next year, or ever, according to a report by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Nicks is once again experiencing symptoms similar to the ones he suffered last year, which caused him to spend half the season on injured reserve. The symptoms are not related to the MRSA infection he suffered this season, but Garafolo notes that Nicks has received "mixed messages" on whether he'll be able to continue to play, and play at a high level.

When Nicks did take the field this year, he looked like the All-Pro guard he was before the injury, but he appeared in just two games due to a MRSA infection. That infection is not the issue here, and that's some minor evidence that Nicks should at least be able to play well if he does return.

Garafolo notes that $6 million of Nicks' $7 million 2014 salary is guaranteed for injury, which means the Bucs would not benefit from releasing the guard if he was incapable of playing next year. Accelerated dead money in Nicks' contract would lead to a bigger cap hit for the Bucs if they cut him.