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August 12, 2013 @ 4:18 pm
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Nicks Will Deal With Toe Pain All Season; Maybe Longer

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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Guard Carl Nicks suffered a toe injury last season that even nearly a year later, still causes him pain. The former Saint spoke to the media on Monday after practice about the injury and the pain associated with it.
Injuries are a part of football. That statement is as obvious as the sun rose in the east today, and we need oxygen to live, but a fact nonetheless.

But for a big man like Carl Nicks, what some might think would be simple toe injury, not only will affect him playing football this season, it also will affect his daily life. And according to the Bucs mammoth left guard, not just for the foreseeable future – but maybe for life.

On Monday, following the Bucs last training camp practice, Nicks discussed the injury and the pain associated with it.

“I’d lie if I tell you it didn’t affect me at all, but you know, it affects the way I walk, the way I stand around like right now, I’ve got to stand a certain way,” Nicks said. “It’s just something I have to deal with.

“I have to deal with it my whole life, so it is what it is, and I have all the confidence in the world that I’ll be playing (despite the pain).”

Earlier in camp head coach Greg Schiano talked about Nicks' toe issue and the lingering problems it may pose.

“Well, guys, when you have certain surgeries, sometimes it never goes back,” Schiano said. “Just like us, right? I mean something’s fixed, it’s fixed, but it may never feel as good as new. They tell you it’s going to, but in this case I think Carl’s going to always play with some discomfort but that’s life being in the NFL.”

The injury was diagnosed as a torn plantar plate, and Nicks missed the final nine games of 2012 following the injury and surgery to repair it.

Dr. Lance Silverman of the Silverman Ankle & Foot in Minnesota wrote a blog about Nicks’ foot injury last year.

A torn plantar plate is a dorsal (upwards) dislocation of the great toe.  This happens when the big toe hyper-extends and the tissues on the bottom of the toe tear.

The plantar plate consists of a conjoined tendon and ligament (much like the patellar tendon). It has 2 bones within the tissue that stabilize the great toe and improve push off power. When the plantar plate is torn, the prognosis is almost always poor.

When treated non-surgically the toe usually remains unstable and lacks good push off power.

In a landmark 1990s study, Dr. Scott Rodeo showed that repair of these injuries in football players acutely and in a delayed fashion could be performed with good results.

Later Monday, Nicks went on to discuss his injury to the media, and despite the pain, wants to get on the football field.

“It’s not 100 percent yet, but I plan on playing some this next preseason game and you know, obviously the third one so we’ll just see how it goes,” Nicks said.

“Yeah, it is definitely that (painful). I don’t want to get into taking pain killers and not knowing if it’s hurting, or if it’s not so you know, I just got to suck it up.”

Nicks, despite the pain, is looking forward to getting back on the football field with his teammates.

“I’m thinking I’m going to play this week,” Nicks said. “You know, I’ve got to get some live action on the toe.”

Head coach Greg Schiano also agreed he wants to see Nicks in game action.

"Carl is going to come and if everything goes well Carl should take, not a lot, but some plays Friday night,” Schiano said. “We'll see if that comes off or not depending on how he is after practice.”
 
After answering numerous questions about his toe, the subject was changed to football itself, more specifically his outlook on 2013.

 “We could be very special,” Nicks said. “I’ve got high aspirations and goals for this team and our offensive line, that’s where it’s going to start at and I know when me and Davin [Joseph] get back out there we’re going to do a good job.”




Last modified on Monday, 12 August 2013 16:32
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Fredster, Nicks wasn't traded, we signed him as a FA. Also, he was DOMINANT, even more than expected UNTIL he injured his toe. Then his play dropped off considerably.
  • avatar


    Not good news. Not sure if it's the R toe or L; but if I were a defensive lineman, I'd find out & whatever side the toe injury is on, that's the side of Nicks I'd rush on all day.
  • avatar

    This is really bad news. I think Roger is right he was injured when traded. Of course we will never know for sure. He just never looked that dominant before he went out last year. I guess he could have injured it early with us but just seems odd. On paper we had one of best O Lines in the league. This really drops it down and hurts depth, etc. IMO. Don't want to get too far ahead or be negative but I wonder what the financial implications for Bucs is if he can't be 100% again?
  • avatar


    I don't see this working out because we paid big bucks for him to perform as an All Pro not as a normal starter for normal play. Who in the heck is checking these guys physically before we sign them?
  • avatar


    Pinkstob, I had the same ailmant ten years ago, and it hurt bad, and I tried all kinds of remedies but didn't find anything that worked to cure it until my wife talked me into trying Crocs. I bought a couple pair and within about a month, I was completely healed. I still wear them every day so it doesn't come back, and in a professional setting in my work, I wear their inserts in my leather shoes. So I can only imagine the pain that Nix is going to try and play through, and why I estimated the hypothetical of his only being 80% effective as compared to his former performance. Meredith did a great job in his absence last year, but I don't know if that was at Nix's 80 percent level or not. I leave that to Schiano to decide. I feel very sorry for what Nix is going through!
  • avatar


    Owlykat, thanks for the advice. I'll give the Crocs a try. If it means I won't have to do those stretches every morning I'll try anything!
  • avatar


    I have no idea what it's like to play with a torn plantar plate in the big toe, especially at 350 lb. However, I do have plantar fasciitis in my right foot and it stopped me from playing flag football and ultimate frisbee for a while. I can play if I do a series of stretchs a physical therapist showed me along with wearing special soles in my cleats, but I never regained that explosive burst when planting with my right foot, so my speed is only 75% of what it once was. But I was the fastest guy on the field before the injury so I am still effective. If Nicks' case is even remotely similar, it will be interesting to see if 75% of what he once was is still better than most other LG's in the league. As good as Nicks was that may be true. I'll be watching him very closely in the preseason...
  • avatar


    I have a sneaking suspicion the Saints knew something about his toe and that's why they let him walk. I don't recall seeing Nicks get hurt last season...it just was announced out of the blue when the Bucs decided to shut him down. The Bucs have been duped before (see Price, Brian). I hope I'm way wrong but like I said...just a sneaking suspicion.
  • avatar


    This man wants to play football,even if he sits out a quarter each game would be fine. H e does make a difference-GO BUCS
  • avatar


    We need Nicks 100 percent. If Nix is only 80 per cent of what he used to be, then we may be no better off than if we play a backup in his spot all over again. Lets just hope that Nix can truly play through it at a high level but we need to know that answer in preseason. This is scary news, Mark. It is akin to continually watching Freeman underwhelm. It is really hard to live with when you find out Buffalo's first round pick this year pulled out a win last week with a passer rating over 100 while Josh with 3 years experience couldn't even play at that level and was in the 80's but some Polyana Buc's fans thought he had a great game. Dream on.
  • avatar


    Terrible news. I really hope he's able to play through it and if he does he deserves serious praise as we all love players who have the heart and toughness to be special. I think he will
  • avatar

    I have a bad feeling. Doesn't seem like this is going to end well.
  • avatar


    Thanks for the update and indepth look Mark...Worrying as it is.
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