Photo Credit: Getty Images

By Dory LeBlanc

When the Bucs signed Carl Nicks in March 2012, they were not only getting a two-time All Pro guard, but they were also getting an Iron Man. 

Nicks had not missed a game since entering the league in 2008 – that is, until November 4, 2012

The Tuesday following the nationally televised Minnesota game, Nicks was placed on injured reserve as his plantar plate was torn and needed surgery. At the time, Nicks had been playing in considerable amount of pain for several weeks, but continued to push through it until he couldn’t any longer. 

Nicks may need to push through again this season. 

“Honestly, it’s not 100-percent yet,” Nicks said. “I plan on playing some this next preseason game and obviously the third one. We will see how it goes.” 

The sixth year veteran spoke to the media Monday morning after practice and admitted he is still in a lot of pain at times, but that won’t stop Nicks – at least in the short term. 

“Yeah, you know, if I’m on it more,” Nicks said. “I think last time we practiced, a couple days ago, I practiced three quarters of the practice, [so] they just gave me today off because it’s a little swollen, a little banged up.” 

As to what the injury exactly is a mystery to everybody, including the 6-5, 350-pounder and it affects his stamina while out on the field. 

“It’s been described to me as many different things and I can’t tell you the one thing it is, but it’s pretty bad,” Nicks said. “I mean, you have to be healthy to be in shape, so that’s the struggle I’m kind of dealing with now, but within time I think it will clear up, my stamina will get better and back to work.” 

Back to work is something the California native is looking forward to, especially with the high expectations he has for not only the Bucs’ O-Line, but his entire team as well. 

“We could be very special,” Nicks said. “I have high aspirations and goals for this team. Offensive line is where it’s going to start at and I know when me and Davin get back out here, we are going to do a good job.”

Click below to hear Nicks' audio from practice: