Sometimes you look at the unofficial depth charts teams put out, and you immediately realize you shouldn’t put too much stock in them.
But it doesn’t take a long look at the Buccaneers’ to realize they’ve got kind of a mess at guard.
Oniel Cousins and Jamon Meredith are listed as the starting guards for now, with Patrick Omameh and Kadeem Edwards the backups. If you’ve never heard of those guys, consider yourself in the majority. They have a grand total of 33 NFL starts between them, with Meredith’s 24 and Cousins’ nine the extent of the experience.
While it’s clear Nicks wasn’t ready to play, the lingering uncertainty of his status might have kept them from fixing an obvious weak spot.
The Bucs also might be planning something new on defense, as their chart lists 12 starters. Since coach Lovie Smith considers his nickel back a starter, that allows Leonard Johnson a chance to be a first-teamer, along with cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins.