Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said the latest problem is in the same location that sidelined Nicks late in the preseason and in Tampa Bay's first two regular-season games against the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints.
"Everything we've been told and understand, this does happen, which is why MRSA is a bacteria that is hard to treat," Dominik said Thursday. "I'll tell you in talking to the infectious disease specialist who has been treating Carl and working with us and working with other professionals, he also confirms very strongly that this is obviously the same infection that he's dealing with."
In August, the Bucs revealed that Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes suffered from the serious condition that is resistant to some antibiotics. Tampa Bay's facility was cleaned after the outbreak, and the team had reported no new MRSA cases since.
On Sept. 11, Nicks declared himself MRSA-free, saying he wasn't scared throughout his recovery but "irritated because I couldn't be out there with my guys." He did not make his first start of the year until Sept. 22, against the New England Patriots, because he had to work himself back into football shape.
"Any time you get any injury like that there's going to be pain, but it was more mental than anything," Nicks said in September.
Nicks had limited participation in practice Wednesday and Thursday due to problems with the affected foot.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano was vague about Nicks' condition when asked about it earlier Thursday, before knowledge that Nicks suffered from MRSA again. Schiano said Nicks was dealing with a foot issue, and he added the Bucs were examining the situation.
Tampa Bay (0-4) is preparing for a Week 6 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Nicks has made nine starts with the Bucs since he signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract before the 2012 season.
He played seven games last year before going on injured reserve with a torn plantar plate in his left foot.