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LIGHTER CARIMI READY TO RETURN

If starting LG Carl Nicks, battling a recurrence of a MRSA staph infection in his left foot, can't play Sundayagainst the Eagles, the Bucs might turn to Gabe Carimi. He is back to relative health after losing 20 pounds in a bout with mononucleosis.

Carimistarted the Bucs' first two games while Nicks was sidelined by his first MRSA infection then missed the next two.Friday, he said he has gained back about 10 pounds and started to feel in playing shape in practice this week. Coach Greg Schiano said he isn't expecting a full game from Carimi but likes the progress he made during the bye week.

"I don't think he can go in there and play 70 plays right now, but I thought he practiced well this week," Schiano said. "When an O-lineman doesn't catch your eye, that's fine. But he did catch my eye, doing some good things. He's going to be able to play for sure."

Another option:The Bucs also worked backup C Ted Larsen at left guard during practice Friday. But Schiano stressed that was with an eye toward having flexibility Sunday.

Williams status: For the third day in a row, WR Mike Williams was not seen at practice during the 30-minute window open to reporters. He was listed as having limited participation due to a hamstring injury. Williams, designated as questionable for Sunday, played through the injury two weeks ago against Arizona.

More injuries: Others limited earlier in the week were listed as practicing fully and probable for Sunday, including S Mark Barron (hamstring), S Dashon Goldson (foot) and TE Tom Crabtree, who is expected to make his Bucs debut after sitting with a high ankle sprain.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@tampabay.com.

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