A cautious first step for Carl Nicks

TAMPA, Fla. -- Carl Nicks took a major step in his comeback Wednesday, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ guard still might be a long way from playing in a game.

Nicks practiced for the first time since being diagnosed with a MRSA staph infection in his foot in August. Nicks said he had been doing some running on the side in recent days. But coach Greg Schiano said Nicks was “very limited" in what he did in practice.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to play (Sunday)," Nicks said.

Part of that may be because the Bucs host Nicks’ former team, the New Orleans Saints. But I think the possibility of Nicks playing against the Saints is a long shot. Nicks admitted his conditioning is not where it needs to be.

“You can run sprints until you’re blue in the face, but you’re not going to get into football shape with anything except football,’’ Nicks said.

I’m guessing it will be another game or two before Nicks plays. Whenever Nicks returns, it will mark the first time he and fellow guard Davin Joseph have played together in a regular-season game. The Bucs signed Nicks thinking they could pair him with Joseph and have one of the league's best guard tandems. But Joseph suffered a knee injury prior to last season and Nicks missed half last season with a toe injury.

In other injury news, Schiano said reserve cornerback Michael Adams had knee surgery, but is expected to return sometime after the team’s bye in Week 5.