Buccaneers' Carl Nicks on road to return

TAMPA, Fla. -- There is some promising news out of the Buccaneers.

Guard Carl Nicks, who played in only two games last season, is making progress toward a return. Nicks was plagued by an injured toe and a bout with a MRSA infection.

“I’ve had a chance to talk with Carl and I’ll just say that he’s excited about the coming season and his rehab is going well,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. “Carl is one of the guys who has been through here daily, getting ready to go. He’s been a dominant football player for a while and we have to get him back out on the football field, and that’s what we’re trying to do.’’

The fact that Nicks is rehabbing is an excellent sign because there had been rumblings that his career might be over. Getting a healthy Nicks back would be a big boost to an offensive line that struggled last season.