Carl Nicks, playing through pain, to return to action against Patriots
Carl Nicks’ left foot might never be the same. But the Bucs’ All-Pro left guard thinks his performance can be, even though he continues to deal with his very serious injury.
Nicks said he expects to return to the field Friday night at New England, his first action since October.
“I have to get some live action on this toe,” Nicks said after this morning’s practice.
But Nicks is going to have endure significant discomfort to do so. He said his injury will be a factor forever.
“I’ll have to deal with it my whole life,” Nicks said. “It is what it is. I have all the confidence in the world that I’ll be playing.
“I’d lie if I told you it didn’t affect me at all. It affects the way I walk, the way I stand around. Like right now, I have to stand a certain kind of way. It’s just something I have to deal with.”
Nicks was placed on injured reserve last season after the Bucs said he tore the plantar plate in the foot. That is the weight-bearing region of the foot, a significant issue for a 349-pound man.
But Nicks and the Bucs are hoping their creative approach to practice will help mitigate Nicks’ issues. He continues on a limited practice schedule, one that might also be used during the regular season.
“With the rehab program that I’ve got and the way they’re letting me rest – rest, work, rest, work – I think I’ll be fine,” Nicks said. “Maybe I’ll just take it easier during the week. I’ll still practice, but maybe not every play. I’m getting that vet card, so I’m going to use it.”