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Buccaneers vs. Patriots Inactives: Carl Nicks plays, Rob Gronkowski out

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcome back Carl Nicks against the New England Patriots, but both teams are still without their top tight ends.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can finally see their starting left guard on the field after missing most of last season with a toe injury and the first two games this year with MRSA. Carl Nicks will play today, although he may be subbed out at times if conditioning is an issue.

The Bucs are not so lucky at tight end, with both Luke Stocker and Tom Crabtree missing today's game due to injury. Crabtree has yet to make his debut for the Bucs, while Stocker was essentially invisible the past two games. Still, being limited to Nate Byham, Tim Wright and Danny Noble at tight end won't help a passing game that has struggled to attack the middle of the field.

Meanwhile, the Patriots will be without their top two weapons in the passing game as both Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski will miss today's game. Leon Washington and Matt Slater will be out as well, further limiting an already anemic New England passing game.

Buccaneers inactives: QB Dan Orlovsky, CB Mike Adams, DE Steven Means, TE Luke Stocker, TE Tom Crabtree, T Gabe Carimi and DT Derek Landri.

Patriots inactives: WR Danny Amendola, LB Steve Beauharnais, TE Rob Gronkowski, DL Chris Jones, WR Matt Slater, T Will Svitek RB Leon Washington.

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