Report: MRSA might continue to sideline Buccaneers G Carl Nicks

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Carl Nicks reportedly is in danger of losing his roster spot. (USATSI)
Carl Nicks reportedly is in danger of losing his roster spot. (USATSI)

One of the scariest aspects of the Buccaneers debacle of a first half of the 2013 season was that three MRSA infections broke out among the players. Kicker Lawrence Tynes didn't play at all during the season, and though rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks was infected, he only missed one game.

Guard Carl Nicks, though, was cleared of the infection in September before it returned the next month and knocked him out for the rest of the season, only allowing him to play in two games.

Now, according to the National Football Post's Jason Cole, Nicks could be in danger of losing his roster spot. And he might not get to resume his career because of the MRSA-related complications in his foot.

"Two sources said in the past week that Nicks is still dealing with pain in his foot in the aftermath of dealing with surgery and then a recurring bout with MRSA," Cole wrote. "As a result, there is some doubt about whether Nicks will be able to play next season or ever again. That may lead to the Buccaneers cutting the former high-priced free agent acquisition this offseason."

With new coach Lovie Smith taking over for Greg Schiano and with former general manager Mark Dominik fired and no longer around, there seemingly would be less loyalty to Nicks from the organization, even if he did contract the infection while on the Buccaneers premises.

Still, it would cost the Buccaneers to get rid of him. Nicks is scheduled to make a base salary of $7 million next season, and his salary cap hit would be about $10.1 million. But if Tampa Bay parts ways with him, Nicks still would leave behind $7.071 million worth of dead money on the cap.

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