TAMPA — Carl Nicks' left foot might never be the same. But the Bucs' All-Pro left guard thinks his performance can be, though he continues to deal with a very serious injury.
Nicks said he expects to play in Friday night's preseason game at New England, his first action since October.
"I have to get some live action on this toe," Nicks said after Monday morning's practice.
But Nicks is going to have to endure significant discomfort.
"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, the weight-bearing region of the foot, a significant issue for a 349-pound man.
Nicks and the Bucs hope a creative approach to practice will help. He continues on a limited 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."
NEXT STEP: CB Darrelle Revis lined up in 7-on-7 drills for the first time Monday, falling in the end zone covering Vincent Jackson.
"I should have yelled at him, 'Get up!' " coach Greg Schiano said with a smile.
Stepping up his participation in practice was another significant step in Revis' recovery from left knee surgery. The Bucs plan on Revis being ready for Week 1 against his former team, the Jets.
"That was good for him, we plan on doing that, just to get a little taste of it because he feels like he can do it," Schiano said. "We did it down there in the red zone area so it's no 60-yard sprints or anything, so we'll just keep building."
Schiano said Revis will travel to New England, where the Bucs and Patriots will have joint practices the next few days leading to Friday's game. Revis will work on the side fields, not against the Patriots in practice or the game.
MEDICAL MATTERS: Kevin Ogletree, competing for the third receiver spot, left practice early with an ankle injury. "He got his feet tangled up on the sideline in one-on-ones, which shouldn't happen," Schiano said. "So that's a frustrating one." DT Gerald McCoy (calf) was limited as a precaution, Schiano said.
STAYING HOME: G Davin Joseph will not travel to New England for joint practices, but it's not a setback. Schiano said it's by design so he can stay back at One Buc Place and work on strengthening his surgically-repaired knee. Among others staying back are K Lawrence Tynes (toe), WR Chris Owusu (ankle) and CB Danny Gorrer (groin).
Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]