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Heart Ailment Sidelines Bucs LB

Tampa Bay linebacker Hardy Nickerson, sidelined by a viral infection that caused an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart, will miss the remainder of the season.

The Buccaneers placed Nickerson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, on injured reserve and filled the roster opening by claiming linebacker Don Davis off waivers from the New Orleans Saints.

Nickerson was diagnosed last week with pericarditis, a non-contagious condition that the Bucs originally said would keep the 12th-year pro out of a minimum of four games. The prescribed treatment is rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

Nickerson, Tampa Bay's career tackles leader with 887, was second on the team with 94 stops this season.

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