The team tweeted:
Rough news today: Pro Bowl G Carl Nicks is headed to injured reserve with a toe injury. It's "next-man-up" time for the Buccaneers again.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) October 30, 2012
Just when Tampa Bay's offense starts rolling, this news breaks.
The Buccaneers have averaged 34 points per game in their past three contests, including a 36-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings last week that saw rookie running back Doug Martin rush for 135 yards and a touchdown while catching three balls for 79 yards and another score. It's going to be interesting to see what Nicks' absence will mean for both the running and passing game.
The 27-year-old was named to the Pro Bowl the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before signing a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Buccaneers in March. He had played in all 16 games in each of his first four seasons before joining Tampa Bay.
Now a Buccaneers squad that has won two of its last three games must trudge on without Nicks as it gets set to face the Oakland Raiders at the Black Hole on Sunday.
Even though Tampa Bay has gone 3-4 this season, the Buccaneers are still not out of it. On the other hand, losing a guard like Nicks can have a ripple effect throughout the team. He's simply not a player who can easily be replaced on the line. More players are going to have to step up for Tampa Bay to salvage its season.
The Buccaneers can start by beating the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday, but without Nicks, it won't be easy.