And Another One Gone

Published: October 31st, 2012

That's a lot of weight to be putting on a bad toe.

Remember how I said that Doug Martin did most of his running on the left side last week? Well, look for that to change since Carl Nicks has gone on IR because of a toe injury.

Nicks was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a lingering toe injury requiring surgery. The Bucs said the plantar plate in Nicks’ left foot is torn. The plantar plate, near the ball of the foot, holds the toe joints together and lets toes bend.

“Toe injury” always sounds minor and everyone groans when they hear it. But before you go calling Nicks a pussy (and if you do, I’ll definitely visit you in the hospital), listen to how Ronde Barber described the injury.

“It’s been unbelievable what he’s been able to play through,” Bucs safety Ronde Barber said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on 620-AM. “It’s about the size of two golf balls.”

Which just sounds awful. So you’re not going to hear any disparagement of Nicks from me. But this puts the Bucs in a situation here.

I suppose the logical thing to do is just plug Ted Larsen in at left guard and move on with our lives. Larsen isn’t in the same league as Nicks, but there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. I suppose Larsen can play center and they can move Jeremy Zuttah to left guard, but if you remember, Zuttah isn’t that good at left guard. And if Jeremy Trueblood was going to be any good at it, he’d already be playing right guard. The other alternatives are Cody Wallace and someone named Roger Allen who I had never heard of until just this second. He’s a third-year player out of Western Missouri State, the school known nationwide as Left Guard U! So that’s it. They simply don’t have anyone else. I’m guessing Larsen starts at left guard on Sunday.

This is a huge blow. The Bucs are now without their two Pro Bowl guards. The running game will suffer but hopefully the strides Martin has made in the recent weeks can make up for it some.