Schiano: Nicks' injury became unsafe
Bucs left guard Carl Nicks played through some considerable pain during the past several weeks - and is one of the toughest guys in the league - but his toe injury got to the point where it was unsafe to put him out there, coach Greg Schiano said Wednesday.
Nicks, an All-Pro, was put on injured reserve Tuesday as the plantar plate - near the ball of the left foot - is torn, and will require surgery.
"You talk about a tough dedicated guy, this guy played through a ton of pain, and it just got to the point where he couldn't play anymore," Schiano said. "It got worse. There were some more tests done. At this point it's not safe. Before that, it was painful but now it's not safe and we need to get it fixed."
Nicks absence leaves a large void on the left side of the Bucs offensive line, which had also lost two-time Pro Bowl right guard Davin Joseph to a season-ending injury in the preseason. Schiano said Wednesday they plan to work with different combinations during the week to see how they'll replace Nicks.
They could move versatile center Jeremy Zuttah to left guard and put Ted Larsen, who started earlier in the year at right guard, at center. Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood said he didn't get any reps at left guard during practice, so it doesn't seem like he'll get the nod.
Either way, Schiano said they plan to stick with their same offense.
"It's a tough loss," Schiano said. "That's an understatement when you lose a guy of Carl's stature, and the ability he brings to the field each week. But nobody is going to feel sorry for us, that's the game. We're going to work some different combinations this week, figure out what's best and put the best five out there that we can put together."
*In other injury news, CB Eric Wright was still limited due to an Achilles injury, and his status for Sunday is uncertain. Schiano said there has been no update on Wright otherwise; it was reported on Foxsports Sunday that Wright could be handed a four-game suspension for using Adderall. But Wright's presence at practice appears to indicate that hasn't happened - at least yet.
-- JOE SMITH