Nicks missed the week three game against the Carolina Panthers with the same nagging foot injury that has been affecting him since he broke a bone early in the preseason. He said that he will definitely play against the Eagles, but swelling in his knee will likely keep him out for another game.
I’ve seen reports ruling him out for the game, but I think there’s still a chance he will play. Even if he does though, he won’t be as effective. A new injury occurring two days before a game is not usually a recipe for success.
The loss will be huge for the Eagles, who struggled against the combination of Victor Cruz and Nicks last season. Instead of Nicks, the Giants will start Ramses Barden. Barden did catch nine passes for 138 yards against the Panthers last week, but the Eagles have a much better defense and I wouldn’t expect to see Barden experience the same success again.
Nicks had the ultimate respect from the Eagles. Just ask cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
“The first thing that Coach [Todd Bowles] said was, they’ve got a good pass attack but he pointed out [Hakeem] Nicks as being their complete receiver, or their number one receiver,” said Asomugha. “That’s what he kept saying: ‘This is the guy we’ve got to watch.’ Obviously in the slot when they come out and spread it, Victor starts to get more of the looks. But when they’re just playing base football? It’s a little more Nicks.”
Nicks, 24, caught 76 passes for 1192 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. The previous year, he caught 79 passes for 1052 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In six career games against the Eagles, Nicks actually hasn’t done that well. He has 26 catches for 385 yards and two touchdowns, an average of 4.33 catches for 64.17 yards and 0.33 touchdowns per game. Those are decent numbers but not dominant.
But I’m still thrilled to hear that the Eagles won’t face Nicks in this game.