Hakeem Nicks Fractures Foot; Opens the Door for Rueben Randle

The New York Giants got some terrible news at mini-camp today; star wide receiver and leader Hakeem Nicks broke his foot and will have to sit out 12 weeks. His status for the opener is in doubt. This is the second day in a row the Giants have lost a player to a major injury. Backup CB Brian Witherspoon tore his ACL on Wednesday.

12 weeks out means Nicks should theoretically be able to return towards the end of August, or right in the middle of training camp. Whether or not he’ll play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 will be a question answered closer to the end of his rehab. The Giants certainly want him to play but will not sacrifice losing him for the season.

He broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot—the same injury Prince Amukamara suffered the second day of training camp last year. He sat out 15 weeks before practicing. Hopefully Nicks is a bit quicker in his recovery; his surgery is scheduled for Friday.

This could actually have a huge positive effect on the Giants, provided Nicks can come back 100 percent healthy. In his absence I expect Rueben Randle to shine. Randle had already impressed coaches at the rookie mini-camp, and the third wide receiver spot was wide open before Nicks went down.

Now the Giants will have to seriously evaluate their receivers and make sure they have someone who can work the outside. Randle and Domenik Hixon are the likely candidates, but Hixon is still recovering from back-to-back years he missed with ACL injuries.

It will certainly be interesting to see who takes more of the snaps with the first group tomorrow.

Randle was a guy the Giants were considering with their first pick, and were shocked when he fell all the way to them at the end of the second round. The coaching staff believes Randle is “NFL-Ready” already, and simply needs to learn the offense in order to make his impact felt.

With Randle getting extra reps with Nicks out, he can develop a chemistry with quarterback Eli Manning, making him that much more dangerous when Nicks comes back.

 

Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com.

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