New York Giants No. 1 wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was finally able to suit up in last night's final preseason game against the New England Patriots after breaking a bone in his right foot back in May. In the fourth week of the preseason starters such as Nicks don't see the field against opposing teams, but Nicks need the Patriots to knock him around a bit.
During the second series of the game, Nicks caught a pass from quarterback Eli Manning after, what appeared to be, him jogging his route. To make the play even more peculiar, after Nicks caught the pass, he didn't try to avoid defenders but rather turned to them and braced for contact.
Nicks agrees that it was out-of-the-ordinary, but a necessary part of his recovery.
"That’s why I didn’t go right down. I kind of just wanted to see where I was at with everything. I kind of wanted to absorb the hit a little bit and get my body back into it,” Nicks said.
While the television announcers gave Nicks some flack over the play, they, frankly, are not in Nicks' shoes. What is in Nicks' shoe is his right foot, which he says feels fine after playing in the preseason game. And for the Giants, that news couldn't be more important.
If you recall, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had a broken bone in his foot during his NFL Combine workouts, had surgery afterwards (including a screw being placed in his foot) and then turn in a solid rookie season for the Falcons.
And who can forget San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree sustaining a broken bone in his foot prior to the 2009 NFL Draft. Crabtree was originally projected to be a top-4 pick in the draft. His stock didn't fall too far as he was selected with the No. 10 pick overall.
Crabtree also suffered a broken foot prior to the 2011 season in which he missed all of the preseason. He attempted a return in Week 1—much how Nicks will do—and was unable to play the second-half of the game. He also had to sit out Week 2 to give his hoof more healing time. After taking that time off—essentially six quarters—Crabtree went on to have a solid 2011 season catching 72 passes for 847 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Nicks will find himself in a similar situation to Crabtree prior to the 2011 season. But with Nicks already seeing live action on the field in the preseason, he should be ready to go against NFC East division foe Dallas Cowboys when they visit MetLife Stadium on Sept. 5. If Nicks doesn't suffer any setbacks over the next six days, then the Giants should have their No. 1 wide receiver on the field.