Sept. 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano talks with guard Carl Nicks against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs G Carl Nicks returns to practice


 

Sept. 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano talks with guard Carl Nicks against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been rough for former New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks since he signed a $47.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012.

Last season, Nicks dealt with a toe injury throughout the early part of the season and was placed on Injured Reserve on October 30.

Then, in the preseason Nicks found he had to deal with MRSA, a type of staph infection that can be deadly.

Nicks returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, and although Nicks thinks he is “always ready for a game,” he won’t rush things.

“It’s frustrating, but at the same time you can’t mess around with MRSA,” Nicks told Buccaneers.com. “So I’m going to do exactly what they tell me to do, what the doctors tell me and the coaches tell me. I know they have my best interest at heart, so I’m going to follow all their directions.”

Without Nicks, the Bucs’ offense continued to struggle, putting up just 65 yards rushing and 185 yards passing in an 18-17 loss to the New York Jets Sunday.

The Bucs have a huge game coming up with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are coming off a win over the Atlanta Falcons and a win could put the Bucs in good shape early in the division race.

Nicks would love to play against his former team.

“Do I have motivation to come back and play the Saints?  Sean Payton – haven’t seen him in a while. No, I’ve got nothing but respect for those guys.  I love the way they compete and that’s how I got my competitive edge.  I’d love to play them but we’ll see how it goes.”

The Bucs and the Saints will kickoff at Raymond James Stadium Sunday at 4:05 pm EST.

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