By Tom Krasniqi
As if the 2013 season couldn’t get any more bizarre for the Buccaneers. The team is 0-4 and desperately searching for a win. The Josh Freeman episode came and went but not without some ugly and tense moments.
And now, there’s the grotesque four letter word that makes the Bucs cringe. Yup, it’s back: M-R-S-A.
I kid you not. The staph infection has returned.
The team confirmed on Thursday that guard Carl Nicks has contracted MRSA for a second time. General Manager Mark Dominik says the team found out on Thursday after an infection cropped up again on Nicks’ left foot.
“This is a reoccurrence for Carl Nicks of the MRSA in the same place, same location,” Dominik said on Thursday. “From everything we’ve been told and understand-- this does happen which is why MRSA is a bacteria that is hard to treat.”
According to Dominik, infectious disease specialists believe it’s the same infection that initially affected Nicks during training camp.
Earlier in the day, head coach Greg Schiano was asked about Nicks’ status. “It’s his foot and I’m gonna leave it at that,” Schiano said. “We’re examining everything.”
I asked Schiano if Nicks suffered a setback: “No. Not that we know of, you know. Just been playing. Yeah.” What a mess.
Nicks missed the first two games of the season. He made his season debut against the Patriots in Week 3 and also played in the team’s last game against Arizona. Nicks came down with the infection during training camp. It’s the same staph infection that cost kicker Lawrence Tynes the season.
Tynes became upset when the Bucs placed him on the non-football injury list which cost him an accrued season and other benefits that he would have had if the Bucs had placed him on injured reserve. The NFLPA has filed a grievance against the Bucs on behalf of Tynes.
As for the Thursday injury report for the Bucs, Nicks was listed as a “limited” participant in practice. His status for Sunday’s game against the Eagles is uncertain.
TE Tom Crabtree (ankle) practiced fully for the second straight day. It looks like he will make his Bucs debut on Sunday. Other Bucs who practiced fully on Thursday were safeties Dashon Goldson (foot) and Mark Barron (hamstring) along with OL Gabe Carimi (illness), DT Derek Landri (knee), DE Steven Means (shoulder) and CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring).
WR Mike Williams (hamstring) was limited in practice. CB Michael Adams (knee) did not practice.
Notable injuries for the Eagles: QB Mike Vick (hamstring) was limited for a second straight day. TE James Casey (groin) and LT Jason Peters (finger) were added to the injury report on Thursday. Casey was limited while Peters was a full participant. LB Connor Barwin (knee) and CB Brandon Boykin (groin) also practiced fully.
News & Notes:
- Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan says CB Darrelle Revis will be covering WR DeSean Jackson “at certain times.” Sheridan says “we don’t play man-to-man coverage the whole game especially against a team like this.”
- Bucs RB Doug Martin on Schiano: “He’s doing an awesome job. I love the guy.”
- Schiano praised safety Mark Barron in his new role as a run support safety down in the box and says he’s also excelling in coverage as well: “I think he’s playing at a very high level.”
- DE Adrian Clayborn says the team is ready to get that elusive first win: “We are. I believe we are. I believe everybody came back from the break refreshed and ready to go.”
- Sheridan says DT Akeem Spence’s weight room strength is translating onto the football field: “He can really lift guys up and really shed blockers. He can really move people. It’s impressive.”
- The team announced that Sunday’s game is sold out.
- The Bucs will host the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 9am with the Floor & Décor Countdown To Kickoff show.
- For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage. Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the latest news and audio clips.