NFL New York Giants

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks Not 100 Percent, Will Play In Opener vs. Cowboys

Hakeem Nicks may not be completely healed from a broken foot he suffered in the offseason, but he’s not going to let that keep him out of the New York Giants’ opener on September 5th against the Dallas Cowboys.

“I have no setbacks, I’m expecting to play the whole game,” Nicks told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “It’s a situation where you just gotta get used to playing with it. It’s not going to feel great, I know that, but it’s a matter of me having the desire and want to get through it.”

The Giants’ star receiver missed much of training camp and preseason, but has insisted he could have hit the field as early as the start of camp if the coaches would have allowed him. Nicks got his first taste of action in the Giants’ preseason finale against the New England Patriots, where he caught one pass for six yards.

As the regular season gets underway, the Giants will expect much more from their talented receiver. In each of the last two seasons, Nicks has eclipsed 70 catches and 1,000 yards receiving. He has been a phenomenal red zone target for Eli Manning, scoring 24 touchdowns in his three NFL seasons. In order for the Giants to have another successful campaign, they will need Nicks to replicate or improve—if that’s possible—his performance last season.

Despite starting the season still not yet at 100 percent, Nicks doesn’t believe that should affect his production. He doesn’t plan to make any changes to the way he plays, providing Manning with a capable and dependable target as he has for the past three seasons.

Nicks will not be expected to do it all on his own, however. He will have his equally lethal sidekick Victor Cruz, with whom he combined for 158 receptions, 2,728 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns—more than half of Manning’s 2011 touchdown total.

With Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle, Martellus Bennett and a potentially improved running game, the Giants should have enough offensive firepower to prop Nicks up on his one foot and play dominant football until he has fully healed.

Louis Musto is a New York Giants Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @LouisMusto.