We finally have some good news on much-maligned left guard Carl Nicks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' left guard told the assembled media today that he still plans to be ready for training camp next month, per Kevin O'Donnell of Fox 13. Lovie Smith addressed said in his press conference that no injury on the roster concerns him, including that of Carl Nicks.
The former All-Pro suffered a torn plantar plate in 2012 and went through one prolonged bout of very stubborn MRSA in 2013, which led to him playing in all of nine games over the past two years. Nicks will always be bothered by the foot injury, but that doesn't mean he won't be able to play on it. He looked like his old dominant self in the two games he played in 2013, albeit with a little bit less stamina.
Nicks said he has been rehabbing his foot injury, fishing and welcomed the arrival of a 2-week-old daughter, Jordan.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) June 10, 2014
With Carl Nicks out, the Bucs have heavily rotated guards all throughout the offseason at both spots. Today, second-year man Patrick Omameh got the call at right guard, while fifth-round draft pick Kadeem Edwards was seen at left guard, per Scott Smith. With no hitting allowed, though, these distinctions aren't all that meaningful at this point. If Carl Nicks can't suit up during the regular season, one of those highly inexperienced players is likely to be forced to step in -- which doesn't bode well for them.
Planning to be ready for training camp and actually being ready for training camp are two very different things. All we can do is wait and see. But at least the official word out of One Buc Place is less pessimistic than the general feelings on Nicks among reporters so far.