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October 30, 2012 @ 3:28 pm
Current rating: 4.33 Stars/3 Votes

Bucs Dealt A Crippling Blow; Nicks Lost For The Season

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The Buccaneers announced on Tuesday they have placed Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks on injured reserve with a toe injury that will require surgery. The loss of Nicks is big blow to Tampa Bay's offense, which over the last three games have led the NFL in total yards and points scored.
The Buccaneers’ “next man up” mentality is about to be implemented once again. 

Tuesday afternoon, Tampa Bay announced left guard Carl Nicks, who was signed as a free agent last March (five-year, $47.5 million) will require surgery to repair a torn plantar plate in his left toe and will be placed on injured reserve.

Nicks has been struggling with the toe injury all season, sometimes limiting the All-Pro guard in practice. However, the first-year Buccaneer acquired in free agency has started all seven games for Tampa Bay and has played in all 71 games possible in his career since entering the league in 2008, including 68 consecutive starts.

With Nicks anchoring the offensive line, the Bucs led the league in the month of October with 34 points per game, 472 yards per game, and 9.6 yards per offensive play. 

Both a key in protecting QB Josh Freeman’s blindside, and run-blocking, the news that Nicks, who is regarded around the league as one of the best guards in the NFL, is indeed a big blow to an offense which has seemingly improved over the last month of the season.

Last Thursday night in the 36-17 rout of the Vikings, rookie Doug Martin rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown and added 79 receiving guards and a score, mainly due to Nick’s stellar play in both the passing and running games. 

The Bucs will move forward with only two of the five original offensive linemen entering the preseason, LT Donald Penn and C Jeremy Zuttah. 

The Bucs’ Pro-Bowl right guard Davin Joseph suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Patriots in preseason and was ultimately replaced by Jamon Meredith, after Ted Larsen was given a shot at the starting RG spot.

Demar Dotson won the starting right tackle position after the Bucs’ were not pleased by the production seven-year veteran Jeremy Trueblood was having.

The Buccaneers most likely will look to Larsen to fill Nicks' position, at least initially. Trueblood was considered as a replacement for Joseph but Meredith eventually earned the starting role, but Trueblood has been working at both guard and tackle in practice. The Bucs have also activated G Roger Allen from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. 

Allen, a third-year guard out of Missouri Western State entered the league with the Rams in 2009. After earning a 53-man roster spot out of training camp, he went on to play in two games that season, including one start.

Tampa Bay has also place tight end Danny Noble on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Noble signed with the Bucs as an undrafted rookie out of Toledo and has been inactive the past three games after playing in the first four to begin the season.  

Due to Hurricane Sandy’s effects on the East Coast, the NFL announced Monday that the trade deadline would be pushed back from Tuesday to Thursday at 4:00 pm. 

The Bucs may be on the look-out for a starting-caliber guard and more changes to the current active roster could be coming within the next 48 hours. 
Last modified on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:51

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  • avatar

    Hey fans - I'm all for looking forward to the draft and to next year (that seems to be the way most years) but I do not accept the analysis that this wasn't a playoff team anyway so it doesn't matter. This team is 3-4, and quite frankly if not for 3 games (Giants, Skins and Saints) where the coaching staff made horrendous decisions, this team should by all rights be 6-1 right now. Now I know, if if's and but's were candy and nuts, but my point is that this team is not such a basket case that it needed to turn to the draft already. We have the Rams, Eagles, Raiders, Chargers, Panthers remaining and that's 5 reasonably winnable games, with another 4 games that we should be competitive in at a minimum. Why is everyone tossing in the towel seemingly even before Nicks got hurt? I think this Raiders game will be the barometer - if we win then we're still in the hunt, if we lose then maybe Nicks was clearly too key of a loss. Remember the other teams can get injuries too.......admittedly 2 pro-bowlers, a #1 draft pick and both corners suspended is a lot to overcome.
  • avatar

    wnb and Gruden are correct. This is just one more hurdle for the team this year as the coaches improve their coaching, the players get used to the system, and the team continues to grow throughout the season. 8 and 8 is still doable. That won't get us to the playoffs, but with a decent draft and/or good FA pickups, the team will contend next year. In the meantime, this team is very entertaining to watch. Theser players appear to have a lot of fight (and no quit) in them. Every team we play this year will be glad if they escape with a win b/c the Bucs will give them all they can handle.
  • avatar

    Trueblood is the best internal option with his size and mobility hes not a bad option to at least try. The Bucs cant look at this as another reason why they cant win. Oakland is known for running the ball and taking shots downfield similar to us. So this is a scheme they should be the most familiar with as they have seen it since camp has opened. Stop the run (much easier said than done) and pressure Carson and we should be able to sneak out of Oakland with a win. Also has anyone heard if the Eric Wright ruling has been made bc I have heard nothing definitive at this point. Hopefully they wait until after this week when we get Talib back to make that decision. Go Bucs
  • avatar

    Everyone is looking at this all wrong. Instead of the cup being half empty, you need to see it as half full. Like Gruden said we weren't going to make a run for the post season anyways. We were a 8-8 team at best. Now we are more like a 5-11 team. Now we will get a top 10 draft pick instead of 15-20. Our Oline back ups will get lots of experience and when Joseph and Nicks return next year we will have alot of depth on the oline. The Same goes for our CB's. We will get to evaluate the talent of our back ups to help us with next years draft. We are 1 good draft away from being a playoff team.
  • avatar

    This has been buc fans' mantra for years. Eventually we have to start hoping for things other than higher draft picks...!
  • avatar

    wnb0395, I agree.
  • avatar

    We're scr wed. This is going to effect the running game and Freeman is not going to have the time that he did last week. Offensive line just became a need position in next yrs draft.
  • avatar

    This is not the end of the world, just teetering on the edge of the world! First let’s be clear. Carl Nicks cannot be replaced! This is definitely a step back, but not necessarily a step down. The Bucs have options, not very good options, but still options. Zuttah is the chess piece that can move all over the board. If Larsen would be better at center than guard, then Zuttah could slide to the left or he could flip-flop with Meredith to the right. The Bucs still have an open position on the active roster. They can bring in a FA but there’s not much out there. Andre Gurode comes to mind or Schiano can talk to his bud Belichick about Brian Waters. I wouldn’t consider a trade unless there was a clear path to the playoffs and I don’t see that from here. I say exercise our options and give it our best shot. The worst thing that can happen is better draft position in 2013!
  • avatar

    When Davin Joseph went down I said we would be okay until we faced Oakland because they have two great DT's. Now we've lost Nicks also. This is going to be a far tougher game to win. As far as the season as a whole, I still think we'll be able to win games. We've got far to much positive mojo going to fold now. Bostad has been getting these O-linemen to play at a high level week in week out. I've got confidence in him and this team as a whole to get the best out of each other.
  • avatar

    I too worry about Nicks and his weight as he recovers. Oh well, this really sucks but I know the team will not quit. Next man up. DAMN IT!
  • avatar

    Arg. Now there goes our run game....
  • avatar

    To trade Blount for someone's back-up CB or back-up guard is not an option. What happens if Martin goes down, we need a RB. If we need to trade with someone we need to trade a 5-6-7th Rd draft pick. They said on ESPN we might get a 7th RD pick for Blount, are you kidding me. Why trade depth when we need depth. Just ride the season out and hope for the best.
  • avatar

    KINDERRT, I hear you, but right now we have back ups at RB in Ware and Smith. I am against trading any draft picks as Schiano will need them for player that he wants.
  • avatar

    Damn, damn, damn... WTF is going on around here??? Well, there are two ways to look at this. This team at least gets time to continue to work on this new offense and deffense. It just seems to me that we are being tested. So far we have to admitt, this team has stepped up to meet all challenges. I'm so impressed on how these guys have stepped up and decided to play football (unlike the guys last year that would stop after kickoff). I hate to say this, but if we can get all our guys back, add a few others, this team will be dangerous. Its kind of nice having an offense that can and will score points. Loving the "leading the league for the month of Oct" in points scored, ave yards per game, and best ave per play. Damn, we've never seen an offense like this, lets hope it continues to grow. Go Bucs
  • avatar

    Well fans everyone in the league are experencing these types of injuries, The Bucs so far have done a great job with the new coach and the coaching staff in place, All we can hope for is finish strong and continued to do a good job. In next year draft I say go after a goos OG,OT,CB,Safety anothet CB and a lb not in that order. GO BUCS. I say 8 ans 8 is a good goal to reach in 2012. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Well this just stinks. Color me frustrated.
  • avatar

    Well the bright side is we weren't making a strong bid for the post season this yr anyway, I just hope we get all these injuries out of our system for next yr when I think we will make a real run at this division.
  • avatar

    All I can say is that young players are getting their opportunities. Trade Blount to someone who has an extra CB or LRG. Please don't put Larsen in that spot; I think we have seen enough of him. I don't believe that Larsen is in our future.
  • avatar

    Devastating news. I hope Nicks can keep his weight down as he recovers.
  • avatar

    I'm with you on that one. The last thing we need is for him to go south and fall out of football shape, but I have a feeling schiano won't allow it especially with all the money we just invested in him. It just seems like our offensive and defensive line just can't stay healthy. It's so frustrating as a fan to not only have injuries, but to have it happen to major players. Plus having two CB's out for Oakland is making me way to nervous now. I felt great this week till the news on Wright and now this. Rough man. Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    Nicks is our Sargent Hulka. He is our big toe.
  • avatar

    #+*%(^! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It seems as if the Bucs have been bitten by the "injury bug" a lot that last couple of years.--- Just when the team seems to be jelling on offence and defence. ------ I guess we will have to take a long view as fans and hope all this plus the other changes to the line-up will mean that we will have some depth in important slots next year.--- Meanwhile, we will see how the current regime handles adversity.---- Go Bucs!!! ------- :^)
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