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Carl Nicks getting 'mixed messages' on NFL future?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks saw his 2013 season almost entirely wiped out by a dangerous staph infection in his left foot. There are now concerns he could be dealing with a toe issue in the same foot that could threaten his career.

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported Monday that Nicks has seen several doctors and is planning to see a foot specialist soon to determine why he's experiencing symptoms similar to those he faced last year when he was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury. Nicks has received "mixed messages" on whether he'll be able to resume his career.

Nicks signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Bucs in 2012. He was sidelined the final nine games of last season with a toe injury that required surgery.

Nicks developed a MRSA infection this summer, which cost him the first two games of the regular season. He returned in Week 3 but lasted just two games before the staph infection resurfaced. He underwent surgery and hasn't played since.

A source told Garafolo that Nicks' current toe issue is not related to the MRSA infection. Nicks has been told he could be dealing with nerve damage that has "affected the strength and sensation in his foot."

None of it sounds promising for a player who was supposed to be a cornerstone of the Greg Schiano era in Tampa.

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