Without Carl Nicks, Bucs to shuffle O-line

Some major news out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday afternoon. All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, one of the team’s major free-agent signings in the offseason has been placed on injured reserve.

The team said Nicks will have surgery to repair a torn plantar plate in his left toe. The Bucs previously lost their other starting guard, Davin Joseph, to a season-ending injury in the preseason.

Tampa Bay’s three major free-agent signings of the offseason – Nicks, receiver Vincent Jackson and cornerback Eric Wright – had been looking good so far. But the tide could be changing on that. Besides the injury to Nicks, there also is a FOX Sports report that Wright soon will face a suspension for reportedly violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The loss of Nicks could be huge for an offensive line that has played well despite Joseph’s injury and some other changes.

Ted Larsen at first took Joseph’s place in the starting lineup, before losing the job to Jamon Meredith. The Bucs also pulled right tackle Jeremy Trueblood from the starting lineup and replaced him with Demar Dotson.

With Nicks out, the Bucs will have to make a big decision on how to replace him at left guard. Larsen is one possibility, but Trueblood, who has gotten some practice time at guard, could be another option. Backup center Cody Wallace also could be a possibility and the Bucs promoted guard Roger Allen from the practice squad Tuesday afternoon.

The Bucs also placed backup tight end Danny Noble (hamstring) on injured reserve Tuesday.