After a strong start to training camp, fourth-year safety Donte Nicholson was injured and held out of the past few weeks of practice and the preseason contests. Nicholson was said to be held out of some practices due to soreness.

Pewter Report has learned that Nicholson injured his left knee and is due to have surgery on it on Aug. 27. The surgery is believed to be a minor knee scope and it is unclear how long it would take Nicholson to return from the injury.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden did not have much to say about Nicholson’s health or roster status.

“He’s out this week, I believe,” said Gruden. “We’re still evaluating him and unfortunately it hasn’t gotten better for him to play. He is kind of day-to-day right now.”

Last year, Nicholson appeared in one contest for the Buccaneers. He played at Carolina on Sep. 30. In the game vs. the Panthers he had one special teams tackle. Tampa Bay signed Nicholson on the Sep. 29 and then released him the day after the game. The Buccaneers re-signed Nicholson on Jan. 2 of this year.

After a few seasons of being cut and re-signed numerous times by the Buccaneers, Nicholson was having the best training camp of his career in 2008. Midway through training camp, Nicholson was one of the defense’s leaders in turnovers and was also high on the special teams depth chart.

Nicholson appeared to be in a good battle with veteran safety Will Allen for a roster spot, but the injury prevented him from competing fully throughout the preseason. There are a few possibilities for Nicholson. Among them are being placed on injured reserve or being waived with an injury settlement.

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