Bucs G Carl Nicks suffers setback with infected blister

TAMPA, Fla. — Two-time Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks has suffered a setback in his recovery after developing a blister on his left foot that became infected.

The two-time Pro Bowler, signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a five-year, $47.5 million deal in March 2012, played seven games last season before sustaining a torn plantar plate in his left foot.

The Bucs used caution with him in recent training camp sessions, limiting his time in competitive drills, but the 6-foot-5, 349-pound San Francisco native had expected to play about 10-12 snaps for the first time this preseason against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium last Friday.

However, Nicks was a late addition to the inactive list before the Bucs’ 25-21 loss. Bucs coach Greg Schiano said the blister developed during practice sessions with the Patriots last week in Foxborough, Mass.

On Monday, Schiano said a timetable for Nicks’ return is unknown.

“He did a great job up there against New England and practiced almost the entire practice against New England,” Schiano said. “(He) developed a blister — not on his toe area but on a different part of his foot. And hence, that blister got infected. Now we’re treating that like we do everything. We take it very seriously.

“It’s very unpredictable when you’re (dealing) with something that is like this. You know, it’s easier when you sprain an ankle, we have timelines. Here, we’ll see how the medication, how he reacts with that and how fast it clears up, but usually on these things they have to heal, so time (is needed).”

Schiano said there is a “realistic possibility” that Nicks could play in Week 1 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Still, the setback is worrisome for the Bucs and Nicks, who said recently that post-surgery discomfort due to the injury, which occurred near his big toe, is something he must deal with the rest of his life.

“We’ve got to let the medicine run its course and see if we can’t get that thing straightened out,” Schiano said.

Nicks was thought to create a formidable combination at guard with two-time Pro Bowl player Davin Joseph last season. But Joseph missed the entire regular-season schedule after he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in a preseason victory over the Patriots last August.

“You’ve got to be patient,” Joseph said of Nicks. “The challenges are always going to come. You’ve got to be ready to attack them and jump those hurdles. I’m sure Carl will. You just can’t let your spirits get down too low. But he’ll be all right. He’ll come back.”

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.