Bucs coach Greg Schiano said it's unknown whether the two-time Pro Bowl player will appear in Tampa Bay's season opener against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Nicks, who only played in seven games last season because he tore the plantar plate in his left foot, is recovering from an infected blister on the side of the same foot.
The Bucs revealed Aug. 22 that Nicks and veteran kicker Lawrence Tynes were being treated for MRSA, a serious staph infection resistant to some antibiotics.
"Too early to tell," Schiano said of Nicks. "We have guys on our roster, and we will choose one of them. They all can play guard. So one of them will end up being the starting guard if Carl can't play."
Nicks appeared to be making progress with the plantar-plate issue before contracting MRSA. The two-time All-Pro planned to play in the Bucs' second preseason game against the New England Patriots on Aug. 16 at Gillette Stadium, but he was a late scratch because of the infected blister.
If Nicks does not play Sunday, one possibility to replace him is Gabe Carimi, who lined up at left guard with the top offense in the early part of practice Monday. A three-year player, he was acquired from the Chicago Bears on June 10 for a sixth-round pick in 2014.
"I just wish there was more certainty at the left guard," Schiano said. "But everybody's got their issues. And that's ours."